The first Amanda Green Grant
for Catstar in Sri Lanka

A year ago, we told you about Amanda Green (1967 – 2018), a kind, caring and compassionate person who had chosen to leave a legacy for SNIP International. Animals had helped her in her life, and she wanted her legacy to return the favour to animals. It took us a while to find an appropriate project where we would feel comfortable using her legacy whilst also ensuring we were respecting her last wish.

Luckily, we heard about a dog rescue & TNR group, familiar to us, planning a new project and looking for sponsors, so we started discussions with them.

Dogstar Foundation is situated near Negombo in Sri Lanka. It has been working since 2006 and so far, they have sterilised over 47,000 Sri Lankan dogs. Their groundwork includes vaccination and treatment against parasites as well as taking care of sick and injured dogs. They have also run a Mission Rabies programme vaccinating over 67,000 dogs against rabies. Dogstar is known to SNIP International since 2006. We have been meeting Dogstar at ICAWC annually, which has allowed us to follow closely its growth and development and expanding its work to include animal welfare education for children and adults. Through education, Dogstar aims to develop community-responsibility for animal welfare and health, and transform the way that companion animals are cared for.

While the situation for the dogs in Sri Lanka has improved over the past years, for cats it’s been getting worse. There is currently a feline overpopulation crisis, resulting from uncontrolled and irresponsible breeding. In addition, according to data collected by Dogstar, the feral cat population seems to have grown over the same period that the dog population has decreased. Most likely, it is due to the increase of food and shelter and decrease of predation.

  • Photos from Catstar

So far, Dogstar has sterilised 3 900 cats. They have been cats whose owners have brought them to Dogstar to be sterilised. But now, a new project is needed to tackle the feline population in Sri Lanka: the objective for Catstar is to sterilise 9,000 cats over a period of 3 years. The target will be both female and male cats, regardless if they are owned, stray or feral. The cats will be sterilised, vaccinated and ear-tipped at two veterinary clinics that are partnering with Dogstar in this project.

Catstar will be supported by several charities other than SNIP International, each of them with a well-defined objective. SNIP International will provide the basic trapping and holding equipment (cat traps, transfer baskets, hospitalisation cages) and surgical equipment (feline spay kits, spay hooks). We will also finance a vehicle (acquisition and running costs for the three years of the project) that will allow transporting cats in appropriate conditions minimising their stress and discomfort. Two local veterinary assistants will be hired, dedicated to Catstar, and SNIP International will fund this also, to ensure sufficient professional post-surgery care for the cats. In total we will be funding Catstar with £40,000 over a period of three years, and Dogstar Foundation has committed to auto-financing at least £64,000. Dogstar Foundation has underwritten the total cost of the project (£245,000), and are still in discussion with some other potential partner charities.

Catstar is about to be launched and we will share with you news about it as the project moves on. We hope that the COVID-19 epidemic will not cause too much delay for Catstar and are excited to be part of this first ever feline TNR programme in Sri Lanka. SNIP International are confident in entrusting our first Amanda Green Grant to Dogstar, given their personal investment to the cause and their excellent track record.

We look forward to giving you more Catstar news from Sri Lanka!

Please feel free to check out the Dogstar website

To find out more about Amanda Green, please consider our article In Memory of Amanda Green

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Currently, SNIP International donates humane catching and holding equipment only through the International Companion Animal Welfare Conference (ICAWC) and the International Training Programme. For more information about these events, please contact DogsTrust Worldwide. Link to DogsTrust Worldwide.