Written by Vanessa Courtenay, Media Relations/Fundraising – Harties Feral Cat Rescue
Little did our founder, Joanne Kontaxoupolous (resident of Xanadu Eco Estate), know back in June 2016 that her life would never be the same again. Especially after receiving a distressing notice regarding feral cats in the area.
The notice outlined harsh rules to be followed and showed a lack of knowledge regarding these often misunderstood animals. After submitting numerous research reports on the topic, Joanne was asked to join the Eco Committee. Using her own funds, she set up feeding stations and sterilised 60 cats in the Xanadu area. These 60 cats represented 98% of the feral population.
Word got out, and soon she was receiving requests for assistance from various people all over Hartbeespoort. The most urgent was a case of 36 cats living in a community where almost no food was available. Spay It Forward came to the rescue and sponsored 20 sterilisations. The others were paid for by Joanne and her circle of friends.
In May 2017, Harties Feral Cat Rescue NPC was formalised as a volunteer-based, non-profit organisation dedicated to helping Hartbeespoort’s free-roaming cat population.
The mission of the organisation is twofold – to improve the lives of feral cats and eliminate the suffering of uncontrolled breeding by humanely trapping, neutering and returning (TNR) them to their outdoor homes.
Once the TNR programme is in place, a feeding scheme is set up to ensure the cats are fed and don’t go searching for food in places where they’ll be deemed a nuisance or endanger their lives. Medical assistance is provided, when needed. Whilst stabilising a colony, we strive to remove all kittens and find loving forever homes for them. Sadly, we also find dumped cats among the feral colonies. If we’re able to identify them timeously, we’ll go to extraordinary lengths to rehome them too.
Due to the irresponsibility of man, these animals won’t be there for long. In more and more countries around the world they’re becoming known as community cats, and this is a message we spread wherever we go.
To date, Harties Feral Cat Rescue are guardians to almost 700 cats, dotted across the greater Hartbeespoort area, and we’ve neutered 649. We’ve rehomed 40 kittens and a number of adult cats.
Harties Feral Rescue is 100% dependent on the generosity of the public. All funds raised are used to benefit the cats only. We pay rend, but don’t employ staff. Every volunteer is responsible for their own fuel/mobile phone, or any other related running costs.
Any donations are always appreciated – financial or other essential items:
Harties Feral Cat Rescue NPC
Account number: 9336943674
Branch code: 632005
- Cat food (wet and dry)
- Animal shelters (to keep the animals warm and dry)
- Blankets (to combat the cold)
- 110L storage bins (black type) (for feeding stations)
- 5L plastic containers (used as water buckets for kitties)
- Baby cat milk
- Kitten first stage mousse
- Kitten toys
Please leave your name as reference so that you can be personally thanked for your donation.
If you believe you can save them all – you’re our kind of crazy!