Our objective is to introduce stray management program to curb the growing numbers of strays in a humane and effective way. The scheme is aimed at the dedicated and committed animal lovers (Volunteers/Caregivers) forming a cat welfare in Malaysia. It is necessary to work with the local town councils, residence and volunteers over the long-term sterilization work to evident the control of cat population in a responsible manner.
RATIONALE FOR THE PROGRAMME
Sterilization proved to be most effective ways in controlling the stray population in a sound rationale and humane ways. Males are castrated; females are spayed.
Sterilized cats become docile and endearing. Their nature of urine spraying will stop. Calling for mates (caterwauling) will stop. Cat fights will stop. No more breeding resulting in reduction of cat population eventually. But their territorial habits will not cease, thus keeping the same amount of cats in one area in check.
RATIONALE IN CAT MANAGEMENT
Volunteers will train residents to create an area to feed and remove utensils for feeding. NANAS do not encourage cats scavenging for waste due to environmental concern. Feeding area serves as a place where strays will congregate and be monitored. The sick ones will be brought into NANAS for clinical treatment and medical attention; kittens will be cared for in NANAS till they are old enough to fend for themselves, all will ultimately be returned to their colony. Some will not be returned and became permanent resident in NANAS due to physical disabilities.
FACTORS FOR SUCCESS OF THE PROGRAMME
Volunteers are important to effectively spread the programme far and beyond. Their care and concern will build a profound foundation for all towns to emulate. However, the success of the programme depends largely of the following:
- Supports from the authorities, town councils and the residents.
- Build a volunteer base in each town.
- Forming caregiver committee to feed, care, monitor the progress and give feedback to the volunteers.
- Most importantly, residents must unanimously support the programme without prejudice.
RESPECTING THE SOCIETY
Out of respect for the teaching of the Koran (refer to **“Jakim”) on the subject of birth control, cat welfare projects are best not promoted as neutering schemes unless the community has expressed their consent. The emphasis should be approached with considerable tact and diplomacy. Abortion is anathema to Muslims hence the spaying of obviously pregnant cats is distressing to the community. Trapping and neutering must therefore occur outside of the breeding season and visibly pregnant cats must be released if trapped. In some cases where cats are trapped on private property the volunteer may have to give an understanding that no action will be taken which may cause offence and neutering and other veterinary procedures will only be undertaken where there is informed consent.
** Jakim has already released a statement in 2002 that neutering of cats to prevent population outburst is not a sin “ Bahawa memengembiri binatang kesayanagan saperti kuching atau anjing hukumnya adalah diharuskan dengan sebab sebab tertentu ia itu bagi menjaga maslahat ummah.
Sterilization of strays and pets are proven to be most effective in population control. Although euthanasia (putting down in a humane manner) is strictly against the teaching of the Koran, not only with cat but all living creatures, many Muslim accept that on occasion, this will be necessary to relieve or prevent suffering. Some, however, will insist that nature take its course in which case pain-relieving treatment must be tactfully recommended. During trap-neutering-return (TNR) it must be stressed that healthy animals will not be euthanized. Where the community is agreeable to limited euthanasia of ferals, the criteria for euthanasia extends only to severely ill cats. Minor conditions can be treated at the time of neutering and flea and worming treatments can be given. Healthy cats should be identified (e.g. ear-tipped) and ID tag (collar) before returning them to their habitat. We strongly believe in community-based approach in resolving the stray situation in the long run.
President,Founder & Caregiver
Noah’s Ark Natural Animal Sanctuary (NANAS)