Kingston Community Animal Welfare - helping animals thanks to you
It's pure joy when the dogs hear (or smell?) Deborah's car arrive for a feeding-check out the video. On her way to and from work on Monday through Friday and on Saturdays, Deborah stops at probably 100 spots to feed Kingston's street cats and dogs, or to drop off food with someone in her network who feeds the local street animals, or to bring food to pet owners unable to afford to buy it. AKI donors support KCAW's efforts to keep Kingston's cats and dogs well-fed, safe, and importantly-sterilized!
Recently, as Deborah was driving in Kingston, she came across a very skinny puppy. She stopped her car, put down some food for the pup, who started gobbling it up, and out from hiding appeared a tiny kitten. They shared the food (check out the video below). That's one way Deborah adds cats and dogs to her feeding route-they just appear, Deborah goes back again to feed them, they get used to her, she gets them spayed or neutered, and if they are in a safe place and do well living on the street, Deborah returns them to where they came from and continues to feed them (or someone in her network feeds them).
In the case of this puppy and kitten, they actually have a home. After Deborah put the food down, a woman came over to her and thanked her and told Deborah that the dog and cat belonged to her. She tries to take care of them, but she's very poor. Deborah not only fed these two, she de-wormed the pup, left cat food with the owner, and told her she'd be back on Saturdays from then on to bring food and would get them sterilized --keeping them healthy and not giving her more mouths to feed.
And it doesn't get much better than this-the owner of the pup and kitten (blue skirt) and 2 guys who live in the same compound as she does, saying thank you to AKI for helping out!
Another way that street cats and dogs come to the attention of Deborah and end up on her feeding and s/n list is that someone contacts her and lets her know that there are animals in need. That's how Deborah found out about this large feral cat colony. They've been surviving by feeding and hiding in the dumpster behind the gate. Since early January, Deborah's been trying to trap them to get them sterilized, but they are VERY wild, she says. (You can see the dry food on the newspaper-and the caution on some of their faces as they approach-or dare not approach while Deborah is nearby.) We're hoping soon that all the cats in this colony will be fixed - and AKI has provided the funds to get it done.
By far, the most common way that animals are added to Deborah's feeding and s/n rounds is that she will see them scrounging for food, often looking like no one has been taking care of them, they are skittish and wary, like the dog in this video below. Deborah throws some food, trying to get the dog to approach, trying not to scare her. Eventually, almost every dog will drop their fear and approach. It might take 2 or 3 visits, it might take 10 visits.
Although there are some cases where Deborah has fed a dog for years, but the dog has never allowed Deborah to touch him or her-that is rare.
This street dog didn't have any fear -she was so hungry, she approached Deborah for food. Deborah was happy to oblige! -and continues to.
In this case (picture below), someone who works at a tire factory had heard about Deborah/KCAW and asked her for help with the mama and her kitten living at the factory. Deborah now stops by a few times a week to bring food and has gotten the kitties spayed.
There are so many cats and dogs living on Kingston's streets and probably just as many cats and dogs living with people who have difficulties affording adequate care. Helping the latter keeps the animals off the streets. Helping the former-the street cats and dogs-helps ensure the population is somewhat controlled (although it would take many, many thousands of US$ to really conquer the problem), and most importantly, offers these free-roaming cats and dogs some love, good care, full bellies, and comfort that they otherwise would never get.