Charity Champions: Skiathos Cat Welfare Association

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Charity Champions: Skiathos Cat Welfare Association

Tue 12th Jun 2018

One of our fantastic team members, Harriet, recently took a holiday to the Greek island of Skiathos and took the opportunity to visit WVS supported charity Skiathos Cat Welfare Association. Find out more about her time with the cats of Skiathos in her blog below...

When I heard about WVS and the incredible work the team were doing I knew I wanted to be a part of it and started volunteering at the WVS HQ. I started working full time around a year ago as a Senior Administrative Officer and I love every moment of it!

Part of my job is registering charities that apply to be WVS supported charities. Therefore, when on holiday in Skiathos, Greece I could not miss the opportunity to visit Skiathos Cat Welfare Association following correspondence with them over the last year.

It was great to see first-hand the fantastic work Sharon and her volunteers are doing to help the cat population of Skiathos and I had a chance to find out all about the work they do…

Sharon started the charity after arriving on the island and finding out that there was no veterinary care at all available on the island. After rescuing some cats and having to take them for treatment on the mainland, she decided to try and make a difference to the cats on the island herself. As part of this, Sharon now arranges for vets to visit the island to spay and neuter any cats they find and treat them for any illnesses they may be suffering with.

Sharon’s typical day starts around 6.30am where she feeds all of the 190 cats onsite, has a clean of the site and changes all of the litter trays and then it is a trip in the car to the 17 stations around the island to feed the cats there. There are also volunteers across the island who help Sharon feed the cats. In between bottle feeding and bathing the kittens Sharon finds the time to do some administration work and arrange volunteers to visit and help.

Then she commences with the night feeding on and off site which she completes around 7pm. But this is isn’t the end of her day as with very young kittens who have just arrived, the last bottle feed will be at around 11pm, before waking up again at 3am for the next bottle feed and starting the day all over again. The long hours are hard but seeing the tiny kittens grow into healthy cats thanks to the care provided by Sharon and her volunteers makes it is all worthwhile.

The winter is more of a struggle as more cats are abandoned and in need of treatment following the end of the season. On top of this there are no longer any tourists and that means the volunteers and donations are few and far between at this time.

Sharon is very passionate and you can see how much she cares for these cats. One of Sharon’s favourite cats is Antonio (who actually turned out to be a girl so is now named Tonio!) who was found at 10 weeks old needing her eyes removed, and she has been with Sharon ever since and is now 8-9 years old. She now helps look after all of the kittens that arrive by cleaning and caring for them. She is a character and having no sight has not deterred her from chasing flies and butterflies around the grass!

WVS has supported Skiathos Cat Welfare Association for around 7 years now and has provided them with parcels of veterinary supplies and medicine. It was great to get an insight into the wonderful work Sharon and her team of volunteers do around the beautiful island of Skiathos and we look forward to supporting them further in the future!