Applications for a new fund aimed at curbing issues with stray cats in Hamilton are now being taken.
In May, Hamilton City Council voted in favour of creating a new $100,000 fund to support the desexing and rehoming of stray cats in the city.
Stray cats can display nuisance behaviour including digging into rubbish bins and bags, fighting, mating and waling at night. The animals also prey on birds – undermining the work of a number of individuals and organisations, including the Council, striving to support and encourage native birds to return to the city’s treescape and parks.
Susan Stanford, the Council’s Animal Education and Control Manager, says the Council’s funding initiative is the first of its kind in the country, and is designed to support organisations which can effectively carry out desexing and rehoming programmes for stray cats in Hamilton.
“A key aspect of the grant funding is applicants’ ability to carry out the desexing and rehoming of the cats,” Ms Stanford says.
“Applicants must be able to demonstrate a track record of this sort of work and will be required to show what they’ve done as part of grant accountability.”
Applicants will need to provide evidence (verified by a veterinarian) showing proof of a cat desexing and rehoming programme, and an annual budget projection of the number of cats expected to handled over the course of the year, including the anticipated costs of desexing. Annual financial accounts will also be essential in applications, along with evidence of a rehoming programme, and how many cats they rehome a year.
Applicants can be from outside the Hamilton area, however any cats to be desexed must be from within the city’s boundaries. The fund grants cannot be used to euthanise cats, desex cats considered privately owned, or to perform procedures on any other species of domestic animal.
The application period closes on 30 September, and applications will be assessed by a team of Council staff.