Showcases / Cat charity on the prowl for more volunteers

Dusty is a one year old tomcat found at the Rova Head waste dump when he was a young kitten. After careful fostering Dusty moved in with his new owner Dave Kirk, from Tingwall. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News.

THE local branch of Cats Protection, the charity that has the welfare of Shetland’s cats and kittens at its heart, is looking for new volunteers and members to fulfil a number of roles, including fostering for cats while new homes are being found for them.

Cats Protection has been on the go in Shetland since 1985, rescuing and rehoming cats, as well as raising awareness of welfare issues such as neutering and cat care.

Although the Shetland branch works hard to find new homes for cats, the task is challenging because, for every cat that finds a new home, there are many more waiting to come in, hence the need for more volunteers to help them continue their vital cat welfare work.

The charity said fostering a cat, either in a spare room or in a pen provided by Cats Protection, is a rewarding thing to do and would benefit any cat that is waiting to be rehomed.

Vivienne Gaffney who has been fostering cats for a number of years said it has been a diverse and highly rewarding experience.

“Some cats I have had have just been unfortunate and have lost their home for a variety of reasons. They have known love and companionship, so they are full of affection and love being able to interact with people again,” she said.

Mac is a tabby who is believed to have been hit by a car. He is currently fostered by Mike Cunynghame. Photo: Shetland NewsMac is a tabby who is believed to have been hit by a car. He is currently fostered by Mike Cunynghame. Photo: Shetland News

“Some have been abused and mistreated. It can take a long time, but these cats, given treatment and plenty of care, learn to trust again, and it’s great to see them get a second chance with people who will look after and care for them properly.

“Occasionally we have kittens, which is always a joy, but it’s with the older cats where I feel I’ve made the real difference. I would say if you love cats, you would find fostering very rewarding indeed.”

Fellow fosterer Jolene Tindall added: “I have found volunteering and fostering for the Shetland branch of Cats Protection a worthwhile, fun and exciting experience.

“It’s such a wonderful experience giving cats another go at a good life. I have made some amazing friends and have been welcomed into the Shetland CP family with open arms.”

The local branch would also like to recruit a fundraising team leader and a welfare team leader

“If you love meeting people and enjoy organising events, the role of fundraising team leader might suit you. Maybe you are methodical and good with both people and cats, then welfare team leader could be made for you”, branch development manager Lona Johnson said.

Joint coordinator Elissa Blankley added: “I’d like to encourage any local people who love cats and would like to help the charity to contact us as it’s a great opportunity to meet with like-minded people and help cats in the area.”

Local membership secretary Mike Cunynghame said: “If you would like to support your local Cats Protection, but are unable to volunteer, then perhaps you might be interested in becoming a member.

“Annual membership is only £10 and you will receive our annual newsletter. All funds raised through membership stay in Shetland to support our work.”

If you would like further information, or would like to volunteer to help or support the Shetland branch then please call 01595 744136 or email The local branch also has also a Facebook page.