Soon after shifting to the island of Vis, in Croatia, designer / illustrator Little Shiva seen an issue: there was no vet on the island, and undesirable cats and kittens had been often dumped and poisoned.
Animal welfare consciousness and infrastructure are underdeveloped within the area, and caring for road cats continues to be a bit taboo. Aside from the truth that the ladies who do that work are afraid of being labelled “Crazy Cat Ladies”, many locals get offended about road cats being fed (“They received’t hunt mice or rats in the event you feed them!”) or sterilized (“It’s not pure”). A mini-war even broke out within the media over an try and get a well known Tom castrated: in such a patriarchal tradition, balls are sacred, apparently.
Not discovering any native group to hitch, Little Shiva began a challenge in June of 2018 known as “Street Cats of Vis” with the intention to attempt to construct neighborhood and get cats spayed and neutered. She was joined in August 2019 by Francesca Walker, who lives on Vis now and nonetheless works remotely for the SPCA NZ. Before shifting to Vis, Francesca labored for them as an animal welfare inspector and volunteered for his or her National Rescue Unit, which makes a speciality of technical animal rescue (canines off cliffs, giant animals, animals trapped in harmful confined areas).
Francesca works on the entrance strains, dealing with most interplay with the general public (dwell and on social media), working with native volunteers, responding to emergencies, catching cats to be taken to Split for sterilizing (which the city of Vis pays for), and likewise oversees the Kaha Kittens and Safe House Network tasks (neonatal care and fostering, respectively).
Little Shiva does behind-the-scenes admin work, managing the web site she constructed for the challenge, designing and illustrating digital in addition to printed advertising and marketing supplies, and likewise feeds and screens three colonies (Cats of Wellington is one).
Sadly, dumping and poisoning nonetheless occur, and as of this writing, there’s nonetheless no vet on the island, though one has been promised within the semi-near future. The excellent news is that the road cat inhabitants is starting to stabilize because of TNR! While the city of Vis pays for sterilizing, it doesn’t cowl every other veterinary prices, nor feeding. Work is finished on an all-volunteer foundation, however Street Cats of Vis will depend on donations, which might be made by way of the website.
Shiva and Francesca