ST. ANTHONY, NL – A local animal rescue group recently rescued a cat and her four kittens at the NorPen landfill just outside of St. Anthony.
Leona Mitchelmore-Adams and Mary Green, members of Help the Strays St. Anthony and Area, say they found the young mother cat and her newly born kittens just in time to save them.
“We were told the area where the kittens were found would have been ploughed over the next day,” said Green. “It was just pure luck – if we hadn’t found them then they would’ve been buried.”
Mitchelmore-Adams says the kittens couldn’t have been more than a week old when they found them at the dump site, as their eyes were just barely starting to open. According to Mitchelmore-Adams, the mother looked around six months old and did not appear to be a stray.
“She’s not a dump cat,” she said. “They are usually very dirty, but this cat was pure white. And the man at the dump said he had never seen the cat before.
“We’re thinking it was gotten as a kitten, not fixed, and then got pregnant and was left there.”
Now with this difficult discovery and fortunate rescue, Mitchelmore-Adams and Green say the most important message they hope to get out to the public is that the responsibility of owning a pet should never be taken lightly.
“A pet is not a toy you can just throw away; it’s a big responsibility. It’s 10 to 20 years of responsibility,” said Mitchelmore-Adams.
Since posting pictures of the kittens to their Facebook group, two have already been adopted, and the other two also now have a potential owner. The mother cat is currently in Green’s care.
When locals saw the post, many donations were also given.
“People were really generous when they realized what had happened,” Mitchelmore-Adams said. “We’d never be able to do it without the people in this area.”
Help the Strays St. Anthony and Area held an online auction to raise funds to get the rescued kittens sprayed and neutered before passing them on to their new homes.
Mitchelmore-Adams says they never give a rescue away without first ensuring it is taken care of.
Since 2012, the group has rescued over 55 cats. Last winter alone three cats were rescued from that same dump, and just last week they received a call of a stray cat spotted near Goose Cove Road that they are now hoping to rescue.
“There’s not too many days I’m not getting a phone call or a message about a cat,” said Mitchelmore-Adams.
One of the most difficult obstacles for pet owners along the Great Northern Peninsula is lack of resources. The nearest vet is in Corner Brook, a considerable distance from the Town of St. Anthony.
But now, with the new dog park opened in town earlier this year, Green says this is a good sign for the area.
“People are now thinking their dogs need to be walked and to socialize with other dogs, so the new park is amazing,” said Green.
Help the Strays St. Anthony and Area currently has five members, three of whom do all the live trapping. In the near future, the group is planning to do a talk with the local Sparks and Brownies on the importance of pet responsibility. They also plan to bring the four rescued kittens to the talk.
The group volunteer their time endlessly to rescuing, caring and finding homes for animals across the St. Anthony area. Along with the kittens, Mitchelmore-Adams has several other rescued animals in her home. She hopes this latest rescue can further encourage others to get involved in protecting the pets and stray animals of the area.
“They can easily call our group and come to us and say, ‘I have a cat pregnant with four kittens, what can I do?’ instead of just leaving them at a dump,” she said. “We can’t take everyone’s animals, that wouldn’t solve anything. But we would prefer they do something like that.”