Recently, a local feral cat feeding station was ransacked and overturned.
For the folks of PawsWatch the discovery was devastating. PawsWatch is a local all volunteer non-profit whose work includes providing shelter and food for local feral cat colonies. Several times a week the volunteers visit these undisclosed locations and replenish food and check on the shelters that they provide. Last week the site of one of their cat shelters being found almost completely destroyed was heartbreaking. Martine Ireland, a PawsWatch volunteer said, "We want the public to know that the volunteers make it their mission to keep these cats fed and safe." She added "Community cats are beneficial to our areas as they keep the mice and rat population down but only if they are well managed. Destroying their homes is detrimental to their livelihood."
The volunteers who found the destruction called Warwick Police to file a report and make them aware of the territory. They then had to scale down the embankment with ropes to retrieve pieces of the shelter that were pushed over the edge. Once they were able to lift all of the sections up to the top of the hill, they reassembled them and prepared the station once again. Their hope is that no one will destroy it a second time and realize that this colony of cats has become dependent on this shelter and feeding station.
PawsWatch mission is TNR (trap, neuter, release) for the Rhode Island feral cat population but they also add in a "M" to the description, which stands for (maintained, managed, monitored) according to Ireland. Sites scattered throughout Rhode Island are monitored by volunteers who make it a weekly priority to manage them to ensure these animals are provided for. The food, supplies and handcrafted shelters are all donated to Pawswatch and the volunteers dedicate their time as well. If you would like to help or donate to PawsWatch visit their website for more information at www.pawswatch.org.