In Montenegro, a former part of Yugoslavia, there exists no cat shelter. The local municipal shelters have scarcely a place to keep dogs (chained) that are strays. Workers brag about hanging the ones they don’t like. There is an estimated 100,000 stray dogs and cats- a population larger than the human one. Stray animals are often poisoned, drowned, beaten or hung. Local law enforcement does not pay any attention. Tourists are stunned at the lack of empathy for these animals. Finding animals in the trash or seeing sick and injured animals on the streets is a regular occurrence. Vets do not have the staff to care for animals overnight. The situation is dire.
But as there are in every society, some of the locals care for these strays. But incomes are often low and veterinary care is beyond their means. This is where Kotor Kitties plays a vital role in Montenegro. They are the only on-going spay and neuter program for dogs and cats in Montenegro. They will assist with trapping cats and then after they are spayed/neutered and healthy, the cats will be returned to a safe area. (While not ideal- as every cat should have a home Trap/Neuter/Return is the only reasonable option for these cats to have a chance at life.)
Armed with a grant from Cold Noses Foundation, Kotor Kitties 178 cats were spayed/neutered between October 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020. 923 cats were spayed and neutered in total with funding from other sources. In addition to this, vet students are getting trained to perform high volume spay and neuter on these small animals, to one day hopefully expand the amazing work of the few participating veterinarians.
Their work has undoubtedly saved the lives of so many animals in Montenegro and will continue to improve the quality of life for the thousands of animals living on the streets. With a well-planned TNR program, outreach to educate tourists and locals, and committed veterinarians, Kotor Kitties is giving these strays a realistic chance at surviving without suffering in Montenegro.