A COSTA Blanca animal protector has praised Teulada-Moraira’s council following a government-funded ‘catch and release’ programme to sterilise stray cats.
Grace Boas, who volunteers with Pluto Protectora Animales, said ‘finally someone’s paying attention’ following the €4,000 grant that saw 62 ucats sterilised in a four-week period.
She said Teulada-Moraira’s new councillor for animal wellbeing, Adrian Ruiz, has finally begun to aid the stray cat colonies that have gone ‘ignored’ in previous administrations.
“I’m so pleased there’s been this realisation and someone is taking responsibility,” Grace told the Olive Press.
“We sterilised and released 80 cats in Benissa and Teulada-Moraira. We had just four weeks to do it and it was so intense we were catching four cats a day.
“In the 15 years Pluto has been catching and sterilising cats we’ve seen a massive reduction in cat colonies, with numbers falling from 50 per colony to now catching the odd cat here and there.
“We’ve prevented thousands of abandoned cats from being born and hope to prevent many more.”
Grace added the charity last year sterilised 447 cats, euthanised 120 and rehomed 177 abandoned kittens – most found in dustbins and restaurants.
Adrian Ruiz told the Olive Press €3,500 of the funds came from a Diputación de Alicante grant with €500 from Teulada-Moraira council.
Ruiz became the municipality’s first ever councillor for animal welfare following this year’s April elections and said the expat community played a huge role in boosting awareness of this issue.
“Expats have a much greater conscience for abandoned animals which hasn’t yet fully arrived in the Spanish community,” Ruiz said.
“I would say 95% of the Pluto volunteers in this programme were foreigners – without their help it would be impossible.
“I believe the more we highlight the conditions in which these stray cats live people will be to change their mindset and take part.”
Ruiz, who added he was a dog lover, said his next plans include creating a map of stray cat colonies in the municipality and issuing licences to volunteers authorised to feed them.