Montenegro is a small beautiful country unfortunately not particularly renowned for the high standards of animal welfare and protection. The few laws into effect are poorly enforced and incessant cases of animal cruelty and abuse are reported every day. Wherever you turn, you see suffering cats and dogs roaming on the streets. The few laws into effect are poorly enforced and incessant cases of animal cruelty and abuse are reported every day.
Local population not always is correctly educated to providing right care for their companion animals. Sterilization is a rare event as not yet considered as the solution to prevent diseases, give animals’ healthier lives and keep stray animal population under control. This lack of awareness and the low responsible pet ownership education do lead as consequence the growth of dumped puppies, kittens, unwanted cats and dogs who are suffering on the streets after being regularly abandoned when sick, injured or no longer needed.
Montenegro has very limited resources to allocate for companion animals needing shelter, rescue, foster care, or vet care. There are very primitive municipal shelters for dogs and no municipal shelters for cats. Only compassionate people or foreign groups privately care for homeless animals and give support to families who cannot bear veterinary costs helping enhance animal welfare within the country.
The focus of our project is to start helping Montenegrin animals with a sterilization programme addressed to stray and owned cats considering that cats can produce litter of kittens at a much higher rate increasing exponentially the number of stray animals in just a few years. Many times, pregnant cats and newborn kittens are thrown in the trash, abandoned along highways, in forests, parks, or in carton boxes and the majority of them are sick and injured animals who will suffer and die alone, because no vet care is available for them. With so many unwanted cats in the community, animals are easy targets for human cruelty. Cats and kittens are routinely kicked, stomped on, drowned or shot by children and adults.
Thanks to our OIPA representative in Montenegro, we came to know about the amazing work of the charity Kotor Kitties.
Kotor Kitties started in late 2018 as an all-volunteer group dedicated to removing the barriers to spaying and neutering companion animals and reducing the suffering community animals in Montenegro. The mission of Kotor Kitties is to help local street cats lead healthier lives while humanely reducing the stray animal population through targeted, high-volume spaying and neutering. The goal is to reach and maintain a volume of sterilizations that will outpace the birth rate of animals and will not exceed the capacity of the local community to properly care for them. Additionally, they are the only organization in Montenegro focused on cats and their specific needs, reason why we have decided to collaborate with them. Kotor Kitties started the first High Quality, High Volume Spay-Neuter (HQHVSN) and Trap-Neuter-Return program in the country. From an initial agreement to raise funds to spay 10 cats, they have gone on to spay 9,000+ cats in four and a half years.
Our joint project “PREVENTION IS THE KINDEST WAY!” will help increase the available number of high-volume spay-neuter surgeries for cats in collaboration with local veterinary clinics in order to reduce the overall population of unwanted cats while improve the health of animals. These operations primarily revolve around collaborating with four private veterinary clinics located in Kotor, Niksic, Herceg Novi, and Podgorica. Through these partnerships, they are able to provide discounted spay-neuter surgeries for female cats (€36.30 total) and for male cats (€24.20 total) – quotation may slightly vary – .
We have decided to work with Kotor Kitties because they have a policy for which all cats spayed in this program are entered in the DEOS system. The main reason is to keep consistent records on the cats and overall data for the population they work with.
These efforts have already yielded positive outcomes, beyond the sheer number of animals sterilized. Furthermore, we all have witnessed a significant shift in community attitudes towards spaying and neutering, greater acceptance of community cats and cats as pets, reduced reports of intentional cruelty to cats and dogs in certain areas, increased adoption of female kittens, and improved governmental understanding and support for community cat initiatives. Moreover, tourists visiting this area have become actively involved in the program during their visits or upon their return home, promoting the advancements in cat health and welfare achieved through this work. Local caretakers in various regions of Montenegro have also demonstrated increased knowledge and a willingness to assume responsibility for the well-being of cats in their communities.
OIPA is proud to announce the new partnership with Kotor Kitties for spay-neuter work in Niksic! Our organization has started funding the sterilization of 16 cats and here is the first lucky cat to be sterilized by Dr. Gorašević in Niksic. We hope this cooperation will last for long! It is crucial to continue regular and high number of TNR in order to address the large number of cats requiring sterilization and minimize the associated issues they face, including abuse, cruelty, illness, and starvation.
HELP US SPAY/NEUTER A CAT IN MONTENEGRO
JULY-AUGUST 2023: SECOND GROUP OF CATS STERILIZED IN NIKSIC WITH OIPA FUNDING FOR THE PROJECT “PREVENTION IS THE KINDEST WAY”
Between July and August, we funded the sterilization of 14 cats: 13 females and 1 male. This activity goes under the joint project “PREVENTION IS THE KINDEST WAY” in collaboration with Kotor Kitties. The project aims to reduce the overall number of stray cats and unwanted litters in certain areas of Montenegro, while improving animals’ health and teach families the importance of spay and neuter.
Our intention is to keep active the project, but we can do it only if you will help us!
MAY 2023: PROJECT “PREVENTION IS THE KINDEST WAY”: FIRST GROUP OF CATS STERILIZED IN NIKSIC WITH OIPA FUNDING
We are very happy to hear from our friends of Kotor Kitties about the success of the first 16 female cats sterilized with OIPA funding in Niksic, Montenegro, under the project “Prevention is the kindest way”.
Dr. Gorasevic of Veterinarska Ambulanta Gorašević finished the first group of spay surgeries last week.
We are grateful to our representative OIPA Montenegro, partner Kotor Kitties, Dr. Gorasevic and families who understood the importance of sterilization.
Our intention is to keep active the project for a long time and this June we are planning to support a second group of four paws.