little bay islands newfoundland

Dozens of cats to be rescued from remote island off the coast of Canada

An adorably unorthodox group of Newfoundland residents are being saved from a life of isolation and impending death on a cluster of islands off of the Maritime province's east coast.

Dozens of feral cats have been roaming the Little Bay Islands freely — and alone — since February, when the 50-or-so people living in the area were resettled and a plan was made to cut off all basic services to the islands later this month. 

Some residents of mainland Newfoundland and nearby Nova Scotia couldn't bear the thought of the cats eventually starving to death, so they are trekking to rescue the little fluffy friends this weekend before ferries to the islands stop altogether.

Their endeavour became especially urgent yesterday after the province issued a formal notice that it is working to trap and "if necessary euthanize" the cat colonies, going on to note that "adult feral cats are poor candidates for successful adoption."

A later release states that the veterinarian slated to assist with provincial authorities' mission — and who specializes in feral felines — has now backed out.

"The concerns of people interested in the welfare of these abandoned animals is appreciated," the province's Department of Fisheries and Land Resources states, "However, veterinarians with the Animal Health Division continue to remind people that adult feral cats are not considered to be suitable for adoption."

Those who have raised awareness of the issue and volunteered for the mission — which include staff from organizations such as Nova Scotia's Spay Day — beg to differ, and say on social media that they intend to socialize and find homes for all of the kitties.

Staff from Fisheries and Land Resources provided additional updates on Twitter today, affirming that though they don't endorse the unofficial cat rescue effort, they "hope that it is successful."

Lead photo by

Kittens from the island, now living at the Exploits Valley SPCA

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