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 entirely 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, very small amounts at irregular intervals 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.

While the society has engaged in all of these activities in the past, for the last few years a lack of funding has obliged us to curtail them especially the educational activities and the prevention of poisonings, and limits the amount of assistance and veterinary treatment we can provide.

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, and Nesher. Lack of funding currently prevents us from working with more vets or expanding this sorely-needed service to wider areas.

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. In the past, it has run programs for youth, talks in schools, and information kiosks, including the distribution of leaflets about the Society’s work. This again is an area currently less active due to lack of funding.

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. Currently this service is for-fee via private cat-trappers. In the past the Society was able to finance the rescue service and hopes to be able to do so again in future.

Hotline service

This service now operates via the Society's Facebook page, which offers an immediate response; there is also a voicemail box which however is not for urgent cases.

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. 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.