A Sotogrande charity is appealing for donations and volunteers to help look after a large number of abandoned cats. The Sotogrande Cat Care Society (SOCCS) works with local people and businesses to help manage the numerous cat colonies in and around Sotogrande.
Volunteers currently feed around 140 cats a day as well as neutering the animals in order to help keep their populations down. Now charity bosses are asking for financial help from locals to deal with the large number of abandoned cats on the streets.
Judith Samson, the charity's social media coordinator, who is originally from Cheshire in the UK, told SUR in English: "What we need is for the community to step up and take responsibility. A lot of these cats are not feral, they are abandoned pets. Their owners have abandoned them after upping sticks and moving back to their home country.
"We are hoping that the cat lovers of Sotogrande hear about SOCCS and donate generously, so far we rely on a limited number of supporters and we are seriously short of funds."
Valerie Schultz, the neutering coordinator for the charity, explained that the average life expectancy of an abandoned cat on the streets is only six months as they are at risk of dog attacks, traffic accidents, bad weather and illness.
She added: "We are struggling for cash in order to neuter and feed the cats. We get good rates from the local vets for the neutering, but we have all had to dig deep into our own pockets."
Valerie, who is originally from the United States, added that the charity also needs help with fostering, fundraising and administration. SOCCS, which was started around a year ago and has around 25 volunteers, estimates that there are around 100 cats around Sotogrande that need to be neutered - at a cost of around 3,000 euros.
To help with these costs a raffle and quiz night will be held at The Dubliner Irish pub in Torreguadiaro this evening (Friday 16 November) from 8pm. Entry is five euros. Anyone wishing to donate money to the charity can do so via the group's Facebook page.