We are fortunate here in Kefalonia in that our municipality does support the work of both ourselves and the ARK, not financially but by allowing us to carry out the work for the animals. This is not very common here in Greece, many places are stopped or hurdles placed in their way to prevent them doing the things necessary to alleviate the animal problems.
They have recently given us the use of two units to use as a neutering clinic using volunteer vets, plus the necessary permits to carry out this project. This is a joint venture with both charities participating, we have raised the money to repair the roof which was leaking badly, and to clean, paint and repair the insides. We have been very fortunate that many vets and individuals in Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the UK have donated equipment, instruments, sterilisers and even a scanner to enable neutering to be carried out. We raised the money to purchase an operating table plus examination light which will be delivered in October.
There are many vets willing to give a week of their time to do this work, many UK animal charities also pay half their air fare, we just have to provide accommodation for the time they are here. We expect to be able to neuter around 20 cats a day in the clinic, and hope that in the future we will be able to neuter dogs too. KAT will continue to use the local vets as we do now, these animals will be in addition to that.
Last year we paid for 627 animals to be neutered at a cost in excess of €33,000, this was possible as we have some very generous supporters, plus bazaars, quiz nights and charity shops, hard work for the volunteers who man them but much appreciated by all of us. Our aim is to exceed 1,000 neuters per year, maybe that is pie in the sky, but we are going to do our best to reach those figures.
The photos give an idea of how much work was needed with the roof being the first job. This has been repaired by volunteers with Trevor being the main man, working in excessive heat they have completed it now with just a few little jobs to finish. We have a volunteer electrician who is pricing up fluorescent lighting for both units and hopefully fitting them. We have lots of people ready to get covered in paint too.
Such a huge step forward for all of us, not to mention the animals. Neutering will improve the health in general of the cat population but will never mean a lack of cats. It stops them inbreeding which compromises their immune systems, therefore, healthier cat populations all round and less complaints from holiday makers distressed by seeing sickly animals. A neutered animal needs less food and with nothing else on their minds they make better hunters.