By Carla Allen
THE COAST GUARD
An organization concerned with the welfare of dumped cats and kittens hopes to bring their plight to the attention of others with the help of a professional photographer and facebook group.
Jody VanNorden communicates through her photography the difficulty domesticated cats face when dumped from the comforts of a home, or are thrown out of a vehicle door to a “harsh foreign land”.
PET Projects member Shelly Hipson says she met Sweet Pea a kitten featured in one of VanNorden’s photos, at the vet clinic after she had been rescued by VanNorden and other caring people in the community. The kitten had been left to fend for herself in Port LaTour. “She was so pitiful. Where her eye should have been, there was only infection and her belly was extended with worms. She just looked out at me from the cage at the clinic and then curled up in a ball as she could hardly stand,” said Hipson.
She says the kitten is only one of thousands of cats and kittens dumped each year in the province.
VanNorden and several other PET Projects volunteers have live-trapped several kittens, which will experience the warmth of a home this winter rather than the chilling cold, and days without shelter, food or clean water. “This is a bigger problem than what I think people realize,” said Hipson. “Many of these kittens try and fend for themselves. With no wild skills to draw on, many face a certain death,” she added.
The dumping and lack of empathy disturbs Hipson. She sees it as a symptom of a much bigger problem in society. “It's not only about the disposal of unwanted pets, but the treatment of our children, elders, and individuals unable to fend for themselves. These animals feel, just like we do. They have hunger pains and can feel the hurt of frostbite. Awareness is the first stepping stone to a better world,” she said.
Thanks to VanNorden’s heart-rending images, money is now trickling in to help with the medical costs of the abandoned sickly cats and kittens shown.
The facebook page group (Dumped Cats of Nova Scotia) is located at:
www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=125915396649. Those wishing to help can contact PET Projects at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To sponsor a spay or to make a medical donation go on-line at www.petprojects.ca or mail it to the Beulah Burman Memorial Animal Shelter Society, made out to PET Projects at PO Box 267, Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0.
PET Projects turns to facebook
By Carla Allen
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