has spent $1,240 for the exam fees and $456 for the females in heat or pregnant, totaling $1,696. The aftermath of Hurricane Irene and subsequent winter months greatly reduced the number of tourists to the island and thus donations that help cover these extra costs as well as those we incur feeding the feral cats, which is part of Ocracats’ mission. So, Ocracats’ winter budget has been exhausted with the extra clinic costs and they are unable to pay for food to feed the colonies at this point.
Donations are welcome and interested donors are asked to send tax-deductible donations to Ocracats at P.O. Box 993, Ocracoke, NC 27960.
January 2012 – Ocracoke, NC – Ocracats, Inc., a non-profit devoted to the feral cats on Ocracoke Island, thanks to a $21,480 grant from PetSmart Charities, will hold the first of four 2012 spay-neuter clinics on Jan. 21 to help control the feral cats on the island.
This will be the first time since 2010 that the group, which has heretofore relied solely on donations, has held such a clinic.
“With no fulltime veterinarian on the island and no other animal control, Ocracats has been challenged to control and care for the ever-expanding feral cat population on Ocracoke,” notes Ruth Fordon, Ocracats president. “Thanks to the generosity and concern of PetSmart Charities, we aim to see a significant decrease in the numbers of feral cats.”
With about 20 known feral cat colonies, containing 15 or more cats, in the village, Ocracats estimates there are 800 to 1,000 feral cats.
Ocracats under the umbrella of the Ocracoke Foundation received the grant in November. The Ocracoke Foundation, which applied for the grant will administer the monies.
“We are pleased that we can help Ocracats and the island with this project,” noted Robin Payne, Ocracoke Foundation executive director. “This kind of collaboration for community benefit is the mission of the foundation.”
In addition, the Hyde County Health Department is collaborating with the effort by covering the cost of rabies shot that each treated cat will receive.
The clinics will be for feral cats only and will be conducted on Ocracoke Island by veterinarians with Coastal Animal Clinic of Kitty Hawk. Each of the 4 clinics in 2012 will be held for one day with the goal of 50 to 60 surgeries per clinic. Volunteers will be responsible for trapping the cats, transporting them to surgery, monitoring them after surgery and transporting them back to their colonies.
Dates for three more clinics in 2012 have not been set. The final 2 clinics with PetSmart Charities monies will be held in early 2013.
About PetSmart CharitieS®
Established in 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless
pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues, and promote healthy relationships between people and pets. The largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, PetSmart Charities has provided more than $134 million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations and has helped save the lives of more than 4.6 million pets through its in-store adoption program. To learn more about how PetSmart Charities is working toward its vision of a lifelong, loving home for every pet, visit petsmartcharities.org or call 1-800-423-PETS (7387).
September 2011 – Ocracoke’s village feral cats may as well be called a native species. Didn’t they come on ships with the first settlers and horses back in the 1700’s? No one knows for sure but they are undisputedly the subject of many vacationer photos.
The island’s cats can be divided into pet, village feral and wild feral. Village feral refer to the non-pet cats that are free roaming and live outdoors in scattered colonies throughout the village. Wild feral cats live beyond the village boundaries and come under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Ocracats was founded in 1996 to help maintain a healthy and controlled village feral cat population. The most significant resource a mission like this requires is accessible veterinary service. In 2008 Ocracoke lost both its vets and since that time has seen the population multiply – rapidly. Ocracats held two clinics in 2010 but travel distances and cost make this difficult to repeat.
In July 2011 Ocracats asked OFI to help with their plans to institute four clinics throughout 2012 and 2013. The purpose of the closely spaced clinics is to “Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)” 300 cats. This will help keep the existing population healthy by putting a cap on reproduction. Two resources Ocracats does not have are veterinarians and funding. To hopefully address this problem, Ocracats and OFI applied for funding from PetSmart. Using a “logic model” format to identify issues, goals, objectives and long range plans, a grant to cover the cost of four clinics was submitted on September 15, 2011.
OFI’s role is fiscal sponsor, project development and grant administration. Visit www.ocracats.org