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Located in South Rd, Caversham, the intake centre provides quarantine and holding space for newly rescued cats and kittens where they can be assessed and receive flea and worm treatment and vaccinations before being sent out to volunteer fosterers.
The intake centre is run by newly appointed intake manager and vet nurse Brenna Gould, who is on site two hours a day, as well as Cat Rescue Dunedin trustees and volunteers.
Trustee Debby Foster said Cat Rescue Dunedin had relied on one of its 40 fosterers for space to assess and provide initial treatment for cats and kittens in the early days after it was founded in 2015.
However, since that person went away to vet school two years ago, the organisation had struggled to manage new arrivals effectively, Mrs Foster said.
"Having this new intake centre, which we opened just before Christmas, is already proving a great success," she said.
"It gives us space and time to assess the cats, and Brenna’s vet nursing skills mean we can do those basic treatments ourselves."
Ms Gould’s family has been involved in fostering cats and kittens for Cat Rescue Dunedin for several years, and she is pleased to be able to take on the part-time role with the organisation.
"As a stay-at-home mum, it works well for me, and being able to do microchipping and vaccination here is a massive saving for the organisation," she said.
"Ideally, the cats and kittens only stay at the intake centre for up to 48 hours, and then we want to get them out to our fosterers as quickly as possible."
The intake centre is not an adoption centre, and is only for the use of the organisation to work with new arrivals and for storing food for fosterers.
Instead, adoptions can be arranged online, or at regular adoption days hosted by pet shop Animal Attraction.
Mrs Foster said the organisation was grateful for the support of many people in the community in getting the intake centre up and running.
"So many generous people have donated their time and goods to us - we are very grateful for that support."
Cat Rescue Dunedin relied on volunteer fosterers, and with hundreds of cats and kittens needing help every year, more fosterers were always needed, Mrs Foster said.
"We are always looking for more, especially people who would like to learn to handle timid cats and kittens," she said.
Despite years of trapping wild and managed colony cats and taking in abandoned and stray animals, Cat Rescue Dunedin remains as busy as ever.
In 2020, Cat Rescue Dunedin took in 365 kittens, 88 feral cats, 96 strays and 47 surrendered cats, boarded and desexed 22 females and had 52 kittens born in its care.
The organisation works alongside the Otago SPCA.
"We are busy, but we still want people to tell us about cats and kittens. Between three and eight weeks of age is a crucial socialisation period in a kitten’s life," Mrs Foster said.
"And almost as quickly as the cats and kittens are coming in, they are going out to homes — especially the kittens, which is great."
Cat Rescue Dunedin can be contacted through Facebook Messenger, by emailing email@example.com, or by phoning (022) 404-2538.