NOTICE TO ALL WFC MEMBERS, SUPPORTERS, AND CONCERNED CITIZENS: At this time, due to a lack of funding and financial contributions the Welland Feral Cat Support Group will no longer be able to respond to requests for assistance until further notice; we regret that we have reached a point where all of our resources have been used in spay/neuter and other vet fees as well as in costs for food, shelters and other necessities; we have always made extraordinary efforts not to turn anyone down for legitimate help (and hope to continue to do so), especially if it meant finding good homes for more cats and kittens.
However, WFC will be undergoing reorganization and renewing its fundraising goals and all changes will be posted on our website.
If you believe in our goals and cause, then we only ask that you consider a supporting membership and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, we need signatures of support for our petition to establish a HIGH VOLUME, LOW-COST, SPAY/NEUTER CLINIC to serve all of Niagara; this petition can be found in the "LINKS" section of our website as well as throughout Niagara and in WELLAND at PAWS & CLAWS pet store in the Seaway Mall and at the offices of our local MP and MPP.
WHO WE ARE...Welcome to the website of the Welland Feral Cat Support Group. We are volunteer caretakers of feral cat colonies that reside in the city of Welland and in its immediate area.
MISSION and GOALS...Our focus and main goal is to address the overpopulation crisis of stray and feral cats by utilizing the philosophy of no-kill and TNR.
We intend to serve the needs and address the issues of feral cats as they specifically relate to the city of Welland. Our additional goal is to inform the public by providing timely information and evidence-based knowledge from the latest scientific research. Another long-term goal is to promote a much greater involvement of the veterinary community in Niagara, including the establishment of a high volume, low cost spay/neuter clinic.
Cats on rocks...."ferals surviving by staying together, even in the harshest conditions"
PRESENT SITUATION...We are aware that there are already several rescue and support groups in operation throughout Niagara and many offer valuable assistance to Welland’s cat population in a variety of ways such as TNR and adoption programs.
However, the issues in Welland are not being directly addressed-both financial and moral support have been noticeably lacking; colony volunteers continue to make enormous personal and financial sacrifices with very little support from other groups or the community at large.
Cat in bushes..."a feral checks to see if food is available"
Black feral and food dish..."Is it safe to come out and eat my dinner?"
FERAL CAT COLONIES: The Need For Anonymity- While it is often necessary or desirable to involve local neighbourhoods and/or the community regarding the existence of feral colonies, there is often a need for colonies and their managers to keep a low profile for safety and security reasons; feral cat colonies exist in the first place because of human neglect and abuse which have left these cats without homes and responsible owners; feral caretakers and TNR supporters work with the local shelters as much as possible but must always be on guard against exposing animals in their protection to further harm and abuse; at times both ferals and their caretakers are threatened by certain members of the public because of our efforts to solve the overpopulation crisis unfortunately there are certain segments of our society who consider cats and even all animals as disposable and this is confirmed by the high incidence of animal abuse in Niagara...abuse that has too often been allowed to repeat itself because of the reluctance to prosecute by both humane societies and the courts! The Ontario Animal Welfare Act has clearly shown the resolve to try to end this cycle of animal cruelty but it remains for the public to demand the much stronger enforcement and sentences which have been sadly lacking in far too many cases.
FINANCIAL and FUNDRAISING ISSUES...At this point we do not have a non-profit or charitable designation (as many other organizations have) and, in fact, we are not soliciting for donations or engaging in fundraising efforts, although this may be a future consideration.
There are issues of concern in regard to fundraising by the various groups in Niagara; if there is a common problem apparent in all of them it is the lack of transparency and accountability in their financial operations; it is simply not acceptable to continually read and hear that "all proceeds will be used to support our spay/neuter program" or some similar statement; regular contributors and all of the donating public deserve to know what amount was raised from each and every fundraiser and how specifically that money will be used and financial statements should be made available to verify each and every expense.It is also difficult to find information on Board members and their specific responsibilities and duties-again, a lack of transparency and openness.
HISTORICAL and PRESENT FAILURES...Many of the support groups mentioned above have a history of supporting one another and sharing resources because of common interests and goals.
But there are also elements of self-centredness and a desire to protect their own organizational interests; there is a failure rooted in short-sightedness and the inability to broaden their vision to include all stakeholders and to seek input from the wider community.
If the welfare of our most vulnerable animals, especially the feral cats, is their priority, then why the lack of greater cooperation and cohesiveness among the various organizations? The status-quo is no longer workable or acceptable for any group as they presently function- whether they be humane society, rescue group, veterinary community, municipal or provincial government. After all these years there should have been adoption centers located in every municipality in Niagara, especially as they are needed to find homes for many of our most vulnerable such as feral cat kittens. One has to ask why this has not become a reality, especially since the many rescue groups have declared that such centers are vitally needed if they are to reach out to the community; instead, we hear the perennial posturing and excuses of “ not enough money” with the usual "stop-gap" measures of relying upon retail pet food outlets to assist with adoptions. Once again the need is to get beyond this "status-quo thinking" which places severe limits on how animals are helped and how much opportunity they have for adoption.
The Spirit of St.Francis Visits Niagara in Fonthill, Ontario
Franciscan Friar, Jack Wintz, OFM, visited St.Alexander Catholic Church on June 4,2012.
The Franciscan writer and speaker has written extensively on the topic of a heavenly afterlife for our pets and all animals as part of God's divine plan for His creation.
Parishioners and visitors alike were treated to a very enjoyable and thought-provoking evening which included an inspiring talk by Friar Jack, followed by a lively question and answer session and book signing. Father Wintz is a modern day disciple of his patron, St.Francis of Assisi, and continues to follow Francis in those very same teachings and message of love for all creation. We were honored to have him visit us here in Niagara from his home in Cincinnati.
A statue of St.Francis and the animals will be dedicated and located at St.Alexander Parish Church to commemorate Friar Jack's momentous visit. Learn more about this amazing Franciscan at www.friarjack.org
Watch the video: Franciscan friar Jack Wintz presented for animal lovers at St. Alexander's Roman Catholic Church: "I will see you in heaven"