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New mobile cat clinic has hands full

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    The Kaua‘i Community Cat Project crew, including Suzi Peters, Kathy Gole, mother-daughter duo of Alexi and Kara Lindssey-Bird, Gigi Chandler, Susan Scott, and Dale Takiguchi gather at the registration tent ahead of the new mobile clinic, Tuesday at the All Saints Gym parking area in Kapa‘a.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kathy Gole of the Kaua‘i Community Cat Project celebrates the new mobile clinic, Tuesday at the All Saints Gym parking area.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Susan Scott and a new mother tends to recovering cats, Tuesday during the Kaua‘i Community Cat Project mobile clinic at the All Saints Gym parking area in Kapa‘a.

KAPA‘A — The Kaua‘i Community Cat Project mobile clinic crew had their hands full with 28 cats on the calendar, Tuesday during the mobile clinic’s appearance at the All Saints Gym parking area in Kapa‘a.

“You should be here in the morning when the cats come in,” said Susan Scott of the KCCP. “Mornings are always crazy when the cats arrive. We have another 32 cats scheduled for Wednesday. We’re pretty much full up.”

Tuesday was the first day the KCCP got use of a new donor-provided mobile clinic that arrived here, last week.

“It’s new, but not new,” said Scott. “It used to be used as a spay and neuter facility on O‘ahu before we got it through the generosity of a donor. We need to wrap it with our logos.”

The mobile clinic is scheduled to be in Kapa‘a through Wednesday afternoon before being moved back to Kekaha where it is being housed after arriving here.

“Eventually, we would like to see it visit different parts of the island,” Scott said. “But for now, we’re alternating between the Westside (in Kekaha) and the Eastside (in Kapa‘a). We need to get the word out that we can use more veterinarians — the more we have, the more we can do.”

Prior to the arrival of the mobile clinic, Scott said KCCP was restricted to two veterinarians — Dr. Bryce Ahana on the Eastside, and Dr. Craig Nishimoto on the Westside — to take care of neutering cats under the Trap-Neuter-Return program, the Fostering program, and adoptions.

Kaua‘i Community Cat Project estimates there are between 15,000 to 20,000 “community cats,” or animals that are stray, abandoned, homeless, and feral on the island.

Its mission of looking after the welfare of these cats through the advocacy of Trap-Neuter-Return was further aggravated by the loss of the Spay Pod, a project started in January, 2019 between Animal Balance and the Kaua‘i Community Cat Project, after the property on which it was located was sold.

With the arrival of the mobile clinic, KCCP is back with its Spay Neuter program.

“We had our first clinic in Kekaha last Thursday and Friday,” said Gigi Chandler of the KCCP. “During those two days, we took care of 51 cats.”

Scott said the next rotation will probably start at the end of this month, starting in Westside and moving to the Eastside. More information on the KCCP Spay Neuter program is available on its website at www.kauaicommunitycats.org, or its Facebook page.

“There is such a need,” she said. “We need to get more veterinarians involved.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

5 Comments
  1. Uncleaina July 8, 2020 11:04 am Reply

    Instead of calling these feral cats “community cats”, they should call them “euphemisms” Feral cats cause the majority of toxoplasmosis that is a leading killer of monk seals. Just this week feral cats killed 4 shearwaters in Poipu. If these guys want to trap feral cats, neuter them, then return them to the spot they were killing endangered seabirds before, I’ll show you the place down by Shipwrecks. Hope monk seals don’t go extinct before feral cats.


  2. Kathy Gole July 9, 2020 5:08 pm Reply

    Thank you so much to KCCP and all the caring and tireless volunteers who are making such a difference on this island to get the cats spayed and neutered! Mahalo!!


  3. MARK WOODWARD July 10, 2020 4:06 am Reply

    TNR has never worked. The one study pointed to as working, Florida University states TNR can’t work because city wide the neuter rates are always far to low. The best any TNR program achieves is a 4% sterilization rate. There must be 80% so populations don’t increase. TNR is like pig or chicken farming without care, boundaries, sanitation or laws. TNR always comes with lots of feral cat feeding by cat hobbyists and that is what TNR is really about, animal hoarding. Putting feral cat hobbyists in charge of ending cat populations is putting the fox in charge of the hen house. What does the heavy lifting of feral cat population stabilization are the ever building diseases and parasites that build at the filthy feeding sites. Domestic cats are pron to collect microbes, they feed close together from common bowls. Eventually cats die as fast as they are born, dumped or join for the food. TNR is just hoarding an invasive species in the open. It’s done so at a horrible expense of: the cats, habitats, native animals and public health!


  4. Kathleen Bailey July 10, 2020 1:30 pm Reply

    It is crucial that opponents of TNR not cherry pick studies to find the ones that support their claims to the exclusion of more credible scientific work. The many scientific studies that conclude TNR has a positive effect vastly outnumber those that that say TNR is worthless. The important point to keep in mind is that it is better to reduce feral cat reproduction rather than let it run rampant. And people who spend time, energy, and resources to address the feral cat problem should not be labeled as “hobbyists” and dismissed disrespectfully. They work to be part of the solution to the problem, thankfully.

    The statement that toxoplasmosis is a “leading killer” of monk seals is simply wrong. The NOAA online article on the subject–a credible source–cites that T gondii (the protozoan responsible for toxoplasmosis) has been “a cause or significant contributing factor” in a total of 5 monk seal deaths since 2004. The real danger to monk seals, and the leading cause their deaths, is irresponsible fishing.

    This reply is not to scold those that dislike cats, as everyone is free to to do. However, they should not let their antipathy for these animals stand in the way of factual analysis.


    1. Bob July 13, 2020 3:23 pm Reply

      Well put, Kathleen…


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