This is my article from the last edition of the Reader Newspaper. Sadly for now, as you will probably have heard, publication of the Reader has ceased. This article talked about the problem of transporting our cats to Germany which is another key part of the rescue process.
I have talked a lot recently in my articles about why we desperately need more foster parents, to help us get cats ready to travel to Germany. Fostering however is only one part of the process. It is the work of the fantastic girls in Germany, that actually finds the homes for our stray cats and occasional dogs.
Sometimes they start off in Germany in foster homes for a few weeks, but if they are lucky a permanent home already awaits them, when they arrive. I have been so impressed by the loving care all these people give our Almerimar animals, whether it is Kerstin, Martina, and Cony, the girls I work closely with, dedicated foster parents in Germany, or the kind people who adopt our cats, and are willing to even take on our ‘wild ones’.
Once our cats and kittens arrive in Germany, our work here is largely done, and we can wait for great news and happy photos. My challenge is always to help as many animals as possible and get them to Germany.
The lack of foster parents is one big blocker, but transport is another. To date, most of our cats have travelled to Germany on the van transport, with the dogs from the local protectora. This usually runs monthly, but as cat places are limited, and they are trying to help a number of local cat rescues, I am lucky if I can get more than 2 boxes.
I am therefore always looking for new flight partners. These are people who are flying to Germany, and are willing to help us by taking a tame cat, in a secure box, on the plane with them. We pay for the box and it is additional to normal hand luggage. We also tranquilise the cat, and can help with transport to the airport if needed. Flight partners are then met at the German end by a member of our partner organisation.
Mira pictured, is one of the lucky cats who got to fly to Munich with a flight partner just before Xmas. As well as giving us more options to get cats to Germany, flights are much less stressful for the cats themselves than a 24 hour drive with 50+ dogs! So if you or any of your friends or family are flying to Germany and can help, then please contact me with your flight details.