Animal rescuers from two Atlantic Canadian provinces came together to save 42 feral cats from a Newfoundland island that will soon have nobody living on it.
The rescue was conducted over a two-day period in Little Bay Islands, N.L., where residents are moving away from this month.
After learning the provincial government was proposing euthanizing some of the cats, Linda Felix with Spay Day Nova Scotia knew she had to step in.
“It was a pretty sad story,” Felix told Global News in phone interview Monday. “These cats are used to having caretakers and interaction, and if they were left behind they would just perish over the winter months very slowly.
Little Bay Islands’ population has dwindled over the years, similar to other small regions in Newfoundland. Residents of the island town voted to relocate earlier this year. Ferry service is scheduled to shut down by Dec. 31.
But cats on the island had procreated and could be seen roaming among the empty homes.
The rescue was conducted by volunteers from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Felix says the 10 volunteers only had a short window of opportunity to save the cats and were able to do so successfully.
“They had all the right gear and they know the tricks to the trade,” she said. “I had no doubt they’d be successful… I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone, so full kudos to the public for supporting it.”
Felix says 37 of the cats were sent to Nova Scotia and arrived Sunday night. Four more felines still need to be transported, while one kitten stayed with a Newfoundland rescue group.
All the cats will be spayed, neutered, and assessed for adoptability.
Felix says it couldn’t have been done without the partnership between the two provinces.
“It was a large project that came together in a very short time,” she said. “It’s a good news Christmas story for all of us because the cats would have starved to death.”