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Adopt Me..ow!: The Animal Lover Championing Chiang Mai’s Cats

Fri 23rd Nov 2018

Liz Purdue is the founder of Adopt Me..ow! Kitten Rescue and Adoption Chiang Mai who has not only dedicated her home to the care of rescued cats and kittens, but is now working with WVS to ensure the health and welfare of even more of the region’s feline residents! We caught up with her to meet some of the animals she cares for and learn more about what drove her to start this incredible project!

Having been surrounded by cats her whole life, it wasn’t surprising to people who know Liz to see her set up her own organisation after moving to Chiang Mai. “When I moved here, I saw lots of people helping the dogs but thought to myself, who cares for the cats?”

It started by providing financial aid to the local Thai vet in order to treat and sterilise as many cats as possible, but it was soon clear that more needed to be done. Many of the cats in Chiang Mai are community owned and lack even the most basic preventative healthcare. The shelter side of Liz’s venture began with a cat called Smokey, who was the first cat Liz took into her home to care for.

As the centre grew and more animals were rescued, an encounter with Mark (WVS Thailand Social Media and Foreign Relations Volunteer) helped Liz’s project grow even further! “Mark suggested I give Ian a call at the WVS centre. My first thought was ‘Why would he help? They do dogs and I do cats.’ But I called him up and after introducing myself and our situation, his answer was simply ‘Sure!’ and that’s how it all began!”

Shortly afterwards, WVS Thailand’s Clinical Director Dr Giacomo visited the centre and the WVS vets sterilised all the cats, gave them all a full health check and their vaccinations. Since then, the WVS vets also help out by performing any emergency surgeries that the animals require, such as amputations – one of the cats is even named Gigi after Dr Giacomo! 

Having dedicated her home to the care of these cats and kittens, Liz’s centre is currently home to 71 cats, all of whom have been rescued and were in need of loving care and medical attention. Many of these are now awaiting adoption from a local family, but some will remain with Liz for the rest of their lives. WVS is proud to be able to support such a passionate project and help the local cat population. “This simply wouldn’t be possible without WVS – we wouldn’t be where we are today without their veterinary aid and support.”

During our visit to Adopt Me..ow!, we met two mother cats and their litters of tiny kittens. Their stories are not unique, which is why projects such as this are so important. One mother was brought to Liz with its young kittens but the other was a slightly different tale. The local residents who had found the second mother saw her protruding stomach and took her to the centre, concerned that she was close to giving birth. However, a few days later a box of kittens were brought in, it then became apparent the family had been separated and the mother had in fact already given birth to them a couple of weeks earlier. Reunited and now cared for by Liz, the kittens are eagerly exploring their new surroundings in the maternity ward of the centre.

Liz’s centre has grown from strength to strength, with 27 adoptions facilitated this year alone and a total of 117 cats helped this year in one way or another, be it adoption, sterilisation or outreach projects. When the WVS ITC in Chiang Mai is not running a surgical course or performing dog sterilisations, our vets dedicate their time to Care for Cats projects, running cat sterilisation programmes in the local community – and the success of these outreach projects is down to the support from Liz. Liz not only brings any of her own cats for treatment but also notifies other local owners and organisations to make sure as many cats as possible are treated!

WVS looks forward to continuing this incredible relationship with Adopt Me..ow! and Liz, ensuring the level of animal welfare in and around Chiang Mai improves. Why? Because every animal matters!

Make sure you keep up to date with WVS Thailand’s Care for Cats projects to see more of Adopt Me..ow! and Chiang Mai’s cats!