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Windsor businesswoman launches feral cat colony fundraiser


WINDSOR – A feral cat colony in Colchester County is getting a new lease on life thanks to the help of two Windsor residents.

Leesa White, the owner of Our Mother's Keepers in Windsor, and her husband Dan, have taken it upon themselves to help a senior citizen care for a population of abandoned and feral cats.

“I heard through the grapevine that there was someone feeding feral cats but none of them were spayed or neutered,” said White.

“I couldn't know that the situation exists without doing something,” said White, who has conducted several rescues over the years.

The project has been dubbed 'The Big Snip' and is being funded through Ivy's Memorial Street Rescue Fund, which was set up in memory of Ivy, White's former rescue cat.

Ivy was born to an abandoned, malnourished cat in June 2013 and taken in by the Whites that December. Due to her rough start, they were informed Ivy would have life-long mobility challenges. By the summer of 2014, they learned she had a very rare skeletal disorder and made her remaining days as comfortable as possible.

White still gets teary-eyed speaking of Ivy, and thinking of all the cats that suffer needlessly out in the wild.

“This is one of her projects. This is her legacy,” said White.

The fund is short on cash, however, as the project is a large, expensive undertaking. Initially, White was thinking it would cost about $1,500, but that's already been spent.

The cat colony is comprised of about 16 cats, seven of which are female.

Since starting the project near the beginning of July, they've already caught all of the females, and five have been spayed. Two are still waiting for the operation, but they are not yet healthy enough.

The cats haven't been named – they are simply referred to as M and then a number – although there has been one exception.

“There was one male that was badly injured that had to be euthanized because his injuries were not recoverable,” said White, who named that cat Moe.

“Even if they're not spreading things like feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus, there is the fighting and that's why we had to euthanize the wounded male,” said White. “The vet said if they didn't already have maggots in the wounds, they soon would and that would be a horrible death. As sad as it was to euthanize, there was no hope for him.”

White hopes people will realize that cats aren't meant to be left outdoors to fend for themselves.

“Even though they're being fed, a lot of times the males are very aggressive and they'll chase off the females and take most of the food, or chase off the weaker males,” said White.

“Some of these cats when I took them in reeked of cow manure. The vet said it's likely they were eating cow manure to survive. What a horrible existence.”

White said three of the females they have caught appear to be friendly and she will try to find them homes instead of releasing them back into the colony that's near Brookfield.

They still have to capture all the male cats and have them neutered. It's her hope she'll have that goal accomplished by the end of September.

“It is a very vicious cycle and if I can put an end to the cycle of breeding in this colony and adopt out some to reduce the colony and help feed the colony, then that's what I want to do,” said White.

 

How you can help

Visit Our Mother's Keepers, located at 85 Water St. in Windsor, and donate to the cause or purchase items tagged for the fundraiser. Donations of food and cat litter can also be dropped off at the store.

Visit the GoFundMe page at: https://www.gofundme.com/thebigsnip.

 

Did you know?

Over the years, Leesa and Dan White have directly helped rescue about 25 cats.

 

Leesa White, the owner of Our Mother's Keepers in Windsor, and her husband Dan, have taken it upon themselves to help a senior citizen care for a population of abandoned and feral cats.

“I heard through the grapevine that there was someone feeding feral cats but none of them were spayed or neutered,” said White.

“I couldn't know that the situation exists without doing something,” said White, who has conducted several rescues over the years.

The project has been dubbed 'The Big Snip' and is being funded through Ivy's Memorial Street Rescue Fund, which was set up in memory of Ivy, White's former rescue cat.

Ivy was born to an abandoned, malnourished cat in June 2013 and taken in by the Whites that December. Due to her rough start, they were informed Ivy would have life-long mobility challenges. By the summer of 2014, they learned she had a very rare skeletal disorder and made her remaining days as comfortable as possible.

White still gets teary-eyed speaking of Ivy, and thinking of all the cats that suffer needlessly out in the wild.

“This is one of her projects. This is her legacy,” said White.

The fund is short on cash, however, as the project is a large, expensive undertaking. Initially, White was thinking it would cost about $1,500, but that's already been spent.

The cat colony is comprised of about 16 cats, seven of which are female.

Since starting the project near the beginning of July, they've already caught all of the females, and five have been spayed. Two are still waiting for the operation, but they are not yet healthy enough.

The cats haven't been named – they are simply referred to as M and then a number – although there has been one exception.

“There was one male that was badly injured that had to be euthanized because his injuries were not recoverable,” said White, who named that cat Moe.

“Even if they're not spreading things like feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus, there is the fighting and that's why we had to euthanize the wounded male,” said White. “The vet said if they didn't already have maggots in the wounds, they soon would and that would be a horrible death. As sad as it was to euthanize, there was no hope for him.”

White hopes people will realize that cats aren't meant to be left outdoors to fend for themselves.

“Even though they're being fed, a lot of times the males are very aggressive and they'll chase off the females and take most of the food, or chase off the weaker males,” said White.

“Some of these cats when I took them in reeked of cow manure. The vet said it's likely they were eating cow manure to survive. What a horrible existence.”

White said three of the females they have caught appear to be friendly and she will try to find them homes instead of releasing them back into the colony that's near Brookfield.

They still have to capture all the male cats and have them neutered. It's her hope she'll have that goal accomplished by the end of September.

“It is a very vicious cycle and if I can put an end to the cycle of breeding in this colony and adopt out some to reduce the colony and help feed the colony, then that's what I want to do,” said White.

 

How you can help

Visit Our Mother's Keepers, located at 85 Water St. in Windsor, and donate to the cause or purchase items tagged for the fundraiser. Donations of food and cat litter can also be dropped off at the store.

Visit the GoFundMe page at: https://www.gofundme.com/thebigsnip.

 

Did you know?

Over the years, Leesa and Dan White have directly helped rescue about 25 cats.

 

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