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Cat Chat - By Chris Stalker V.N.

Assisi to the Rescue!

The Belfast Telegraph Digital’s reporter, John McGurk, recently wrote this heartwarming story…

Assisi Animal Sanctuary recently rescued an amazing 41 kittens and 19 adults all from one farm in Co Down. Now, the beautiful ginger and white and tortoiseshell bundles of joy are desperately in need of loving homes. The kittens and cats are currently being kept in a cottage owned by one of its supporters, as its Conlig shelter is full of other needy animals.

Assisi’s Chance of a Lifetime scheme co-ordinator, Rosemary Glendinning, explained:

“We got the kittens and cats from one farm, just outside Newtownards, when the farmer rang, asking us to take them away. We always work at full capacity. So, we realised that there was no way we could take in that amount of cats and kittens. Fortunately, one of our supporters has a weatherproof cottage on her land and she said that she could take them, if we supplied the food and the veterinary care.”

Rosemary revealed the sad news that eight of the kittens had died due to worm infestation. However, another eight kittens have already found happy homes and the adult cats have been spayed and resettled. “The problems all started with two or three female cats put on site, without being spayed.” Rosemary urged people to have their cats and dogs neutered and pointed out that the sanctuary provides free neutering vouchers to pet owners who are on means tested benefit.

The Pets of Katrina: One Year Later

An online memorial to the Pets of Katrina is to be launched on 1 September.

During the crisis created by Katrina, people were forced to evacuate, only to find out that they had to leave a family member behind. This terrible situation lead to one of the largest pet rescue operations in history. Now All Pets Radio (www.allpetsradio.com) and Unconditional Friends.com present “The Pets of Katrina: One Year Later”, an online memorial.

On this special one-of-a-kind website you will find photos of the rescue operations, Happy Tails stories of homeless Katrina pets that found new homes, fantastic stories of reunions between pet and owner, as well as stories of memorial to those loved ones lost. Co-Founder Bill Clanton stated, “After Katrina we learned the unconditional bond between pet and owner is truly unbreakable.” So next month, do take a look at the site: www.unconditionalfriends.com 50% of all advertising dollars made on this site will be donated to various shelters to help cover spay and neutering costs.

FAB Advice

Have you looked at the Feline Advisory Bureau’s website recently? There are some great articles on some very topical ‘hot topics’:

• Avian flu and cats • PKD Negative Register • Code of conduct for cat owners • Development of hypoallergenic cats • Tritrichomonas foetus infection in cats • HCM Screening Scheme The FAB website can be found at www.fabcats.org/

BUAV Petition
I was sent the following letter by Anthony Gallett of Nottingham, and agreed to include his plea in this column:

“I am a private individual writing to ask if you are prepared to take action to help laboratory animals and all of us at a critical time. I am talking about a proposal called REACH in the present EU Chemical Testing Policy. REACH stands for the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals. This new EU chemicals policy was initiated because of concerns about the possible unknown risks of existing chemicals (those used or marketed prior to 1981) to human health and the environment. Before 1981 there was no obligation on manufacturers to test chemicals in order to classify and label them before putting them on the market.

Experts estimate that millions more animals will be subjected to toxicology testing across the EU once it becomes law - unless the proposal is changed now. It is even thought that new laboratories and testing centres may have to be built to handle the work.

Still worse, because of this reliance on outdated animal techniques, reliable and relevant information will not be provided and our safety will not be assured.

REACH is currently being discussed in the European Parliament. With a vital vote due in Autumn 2006, there is just time to make a difference before it is made law. If like me you think it is unreasonable to use the more barbaric and extreme animal tests to test over 30,000 chemicals that have been used by the general public for over twenty-five years, instead of investing in more humane and dependable alternatives, then please act now before it is too late.

To send an online postcard to the government please visit the BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) website at www.BUAV.org (Select Campaigns, Chemical Testing then Get Active).

Please tell your colleagues and friends about REACH. Everyone can help and you can make a difference.”

CNWCC 25th Anniversary Show
Congratulations to Chester & North Wales for a great Silver Anniversary show! I really enjoyed my day and I will be submitting my report and photographs from the show in the 22 September issue of OUR CATS. Please send any news from the show to catnewsreporter@yahoo.co.uk or write to me c/o OUR CATS – deadline for inclusion is 4 September.

A word of praise and admiration to Dorothy and Colin Stone for appearing at the CNWCC show, despite being burgled just 24 hours prior to the show! Dorothy & Colin were fast asleep when burglars crept into their home and stole their purse, wallet, a new leather handbag and both mobile phones.

Their Singapura, “Jenga”, had attempted to wake his owners but Dorothy thought he was just after an early breakfast and went back to sleep! Personally, I think it best that the Stones did not go downstairs to investigate, as things may have taken a more violent turn. Poor Jenga must have been very worried, but at least no-one was hurt.

Luckily, Dorothy’s car had a tank full of petrol, which meant that they got to the show on Saturday – even though they had empty pockets! Real dedication of a cat judge – ‘the show must go on’!

News and photos wanted!

Please send your news and photos to me, for inclusion in this column – are you all on holiday?