Ocracats, Inc. will have a spay-neuter clinic Sept. 16 and 17 for Ocracoke Island feral cats in the new Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department building along Highway 12 with Dr. Howard Johnson, of Boone.
Thursday, Sept. 18, will be for surgery for island pets.
Trapping will begin Monday, Sept. 15, and will continue Sept. 16 and 17. So islanders are requested to keep their pets inside those days.
Islanders who have feral cats that need to be fixed should sign up on the flyer posted in the Post Office. Ocracats also is looking for anyone who has feral kittens and/or pregnant cats. Many visitors to the island request to adopt an Ocracoke cat and the group needs to know where the tame kittens are located.
That same week, on Wednesday, Sept. 17, Roanoke Island Animal Clinic will have their monthly clinic also in the new fire department building.
Ocracats also is looking for volunteer helpers the day of the clinics for various duties, such as, pre-surgery prep, recording information for rabies certificates, trapping cats, monitoring the “patients” after surgery and clean-up. Those who want to help are asked to note this on the sign-up sheets and include contact phone number.
Ocracats is an all-volunteer organization that relies on donations to pay for these spay-neuter clinics that help control the feral cat population. Donations and sales of T-shirts, calendars and note cards at Mermaid’s Folly also pay for food for the many colonies around the island and medications for the cats.
Ocracats is funded by donations, and from income they receive for the sale of t-shirts, note cards and calendars. With this, the group feeds several colonies of ferals at a cost of around $500 a month and pays all costs for spay/neuters of ferals and rescued cats. A large grant money for spay-neuter clinics over two years has been completed.
The group also keeps a small stock of medical supplies and budgets up to $100 for vet costs for sick cats.
The harsh reality is that Ocracoke does not have a vet. A trip to the vet in Buxton is easily two hours each way; four hours to Manteo.
Ocracats volunteers are not trained in veterinary medicine and can do little more than offer some comfort and creative problem-solving when a crisis occurs.
Interested in volunteers should go to the Ocracats Facebook page and send a private message about helping.