Cat rescue group to set up in Upper Clutha

The number of stray and neglected cats in the Upper Clutha has prompted a move to set up the area's own cat rescue organisation.

Until now, the Queenstown Cat Rescue Charitable Trust has taken responsibility for the Upper Clutha's strays.

Lulu with fosterer Rachel Allibone, of Wanaka. PHOTO: MARK PRICE
Lulu with fosterer Rachel Allibone, of Wanaka. PHOTO: MARK PRICE
However, a group of of about 10 Upper Clutha residents, who have been volunteering for the trust, are in the process of setting up their own organisation to take the pressure off the Queenstown trust.

One of the founding members, Lindsey Turner, said this week that the area had a lot of cats living wild.

She said a big part of the problem was that people who were not permanent residents took on a cat and then found they could not keep it.

"They thought it was a good idea to adopt a cat and then they had to leave the country."

As well, landlords were less and less accepting of pets on their properties, she said.

"It's harder and harder for people with pets to find homes."

Monique Wallath said she began fostering cats after approaching Cat Rescue for help when an old "very skinny" cat began hanging around her house in Albert Town.

"It's the kind thing to do; try to help these cats.

"It's not their fault they've been left."

Rachel Allibone said she caught a kitten on the side of the Crown Range Rd.

It was the first of five she has fostered, and it was now in Alexandra, sharing a mat in front of a fire with a dog.

She is now fostering Lulu and Tuesday, preparing them for permanent homes.

The group says the stray cat problem would be reduced if people neutered their cats, preventing litters of kittens being born wild.

Queenstown Cat Rescue founder Ruth De Reus said her organisation had about 100 volunteers covering Queenstown, Kingston, Glenorchy, Cromwell and Wanaka.

Since setting up the organisation in 2009, she had arranged for volunteers to care for 248 Upper Clutha cats.

To contact the organisation, email catrescuewanaka@gmail.com.

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