Israel Cat Lovers Society
Updates

Israel Cat Lovers' Society



Israel Cat Lovers' Society

The society was founded in 1966 with the aim of helping the street-cat population of Haifa and Northern Israel. We are a non-profit volunteer-run organization funded by donations and by similar organizations abroad; since 1995 we have also received some funding from the Ministry for Environmental Quality and, since 1998, a small amount from the Haifa Municipality.

The society’s main aims and activities are:

  1. A neutering program to control the expansion of the population of homeless cats.
  2. Veterinary treatment
  3. Education and provision of information to the general population.
  4. Assistance to the needy
  5. An emergency hotline
  6. Prevention of poisonings

Spay/neuter program

The Society is a “no-kill society,” very much opposed to the extermination of homeless cats. A better solution to the problem is to TNR (trap neuter return)  the cats. The society therefore carries out mass neutering programs. To this end it engages in:

  • Enhancing awareness among cat owners and official bodies such as the heads of municipalities and local authorities, of the need to spay or neuter. Today there is a general public awareness of the subject, from the Ministry of Agriculture down to the general public, who frequently organize such initiatives and turn to us for help and advice.
  • Spaying and neutering of homeless and feral cats, both when engaged to do so by municipalities and local authorities, and on our own account with the costs borne directly by the society.
  • Subsidizing the neutering of homeless cats. Due to the high cost of the operation, people who feed and care for large numbers of street cats are not able to also spay or neuter them, and many cat owners do not do so either, but let them have litters and then abandon the kittens in the street, resulting in a large population of cats doomed to early deaths from starvation, disease or abuse. The society’s decision to subsidize these operations has been highly successful, resulting in an ever-growing number of requests for such aid.

Veterinary treatment

The Society provides medical care at highly subsidized prices for homeless cats afflicted by illness, neglect, abandonment, injury, abuse, accidents and so on. For this purpose it works together with a number of vets in Haifa, the Haifa Bay towns, Nesher, and Zichron Yaakov,  and plans to open more clinics soon.

Education and increasing awareness

The Society has always placed an emphasis on raising awareness of the needs of animals in general, and cats in particular, of the mutual relationship between them and people, and of our responsibilities towards them. Over the years, it has run programs for youth, talks in schools, and information kiosks, including the distribution of leaflets about the Society’s work. Today the Society accepts contributions and distributes information via booths at various pro-animal events in the center and north of Israel.

Financial aid

As far as possible despite its limited resources, the Society tries to help new immigrants, pensioners, and welfare recipients who care for numbers of cats in danger of abuse or poisoning but who cannot afford to neuter them. The Society also helps by partial financing of the costs of veterinary treatment for such cats.

Rescue

The Society operates a rescue service for cats stranded on tree-tops, roofs, or gutters, or injured by accidents, venturing into plumbing pipes, neighbors’ quarrels, etc.

Hotline service

The Society receives about 50 calls a day to this service which operates around the clock. Typical requests for help include:

  • Medical treatments
  • Animals in distress
  • Rescue requests
  • Adoption requests
  • Requests for financial help for neutering
  • Volunteering offers, especially from youngsters
  • Requests for professional advice and information.
  • Referrals from the municipal hotline, regarding for example injured cats, requests to pick up cats which have had litters on balconies or in storerooms, mass giveaways of cats unwanted for various reasons including their owners’ move to a seniors’ home or the owner’s death, threats to abandon domestic cats which cannot survive outdoors, and actual abandonment of such cats.

Prevention of poisoning

The Society makes the greatest effort to prevent the illegal planned mass poisonings of the helpless street cat population in Haifa and the North, carried out from time to time by some factories and work places and even some local authorities. When such an event is reported to us, we try to file a complaint. A complaint cannot be filed unless the eye-witnesses are willing to come forward and reveal their identities, which can be problematic in some of the above situations. In the case of mass poisonings, the Society contacts the local authority in whose jurisdiction they occur, and the police. In many cases the Society has managed to prevent a planned poisoning by turning to the head of the municipality or local authority. We have also been helped in this work by the Ministry of the Environment and occasionally by Members of the Knesset. Unfortunately we often receive the information too late to be able to prevent the illegal mass extermination of the cats.