First of all I would like to thank you for considering being a volunteer during one of our feral cat sterilising trips to Fuerteventura, normally during the months of March & November. Each neutering campaign is for one week but the week prior and post of our campaign is spent preparing for, or cleaning up after our campaign. So if you can help for more than just the campaign week please mention this when you contact Jenny.
The next scheduled campaign date will be announced on our News & Events page.
The sleeping accommodation for the team is in the resort of Caleta de Fuste. Normally the accommodation is a 1 bedroom apartment or studio for 2 team members. The house where we work/operate is in Los Estancos. It is approximately a 20 minute drive from the resort.
Each catching team consist of 2 people and a car.
You may be asked to catch cats from various locations on the island, once caught the cats must then be taken to our house at Los Estancos as soon as possible.
We arrange a welcome meeting for the entire team on the day of arrival. This gives everyone a chance to meet and ask questions. If some volunteers don't arrive until later or get delayed they will have a welcome talk individually.
The details below will give you an idea of the general day-to-day procedure.
• The working day usually starts by 7.30am. All the cats ready for release that were caught the previous day need to be loaded into the car and returned to their area. The same person that caught the cat also releases the cat.
• Once all the cats that are recovered have been released we need to catch as many cats as possible and have them back at the surgery area as soon as possible, ready for the vets to start operating.
• The veterinary team begins operating around 9.00 am. If we have enough cats the vet team will continue to work throughout the day, with just a short break for lunch at Los Estancos. If we do not have many cats they may take a break from 1.00pm until about 5.30pm and then resume operating until late into the night.
• We are still catching and bringing in cats until approximately 1.00am. You may also be asked to release more of the cats that you caught the previous day that are ready for release.
• Ideally all the catchers have a break for a few hours' at lunchtime (normally 1.30-5.30pm) this is because it is too hot to catch and the cats are taking shade and hiding.
• After 5.30pm we resume releasing cats or catching.
• Some cats only come out very late at night or in the early hours of the morning. So you need to be flexible and grab a break when you can so that you are able to manage a late or early catch.
As each cat is caught, its basket needs to be labelled, (i.e. area caught, description and catchers name) this is so that we know exactly where they were caught to ensure they are returned to familiar territory. After the operation all cats are kept in for approximately 24 hours to recover. You need to collect and release the cat the next day or as soon as he/she is ready. The cats spend the entire 24 hours in the basket they were caught in, so it's important that as soon as the cat is ready for release we can return it to its area. We don't like to keep the cats in any longer than we need to, as this is a scary and noisy environment for them and we also need to have the baskets free for more cats.
We also catch and treat cats that have already been sterilised/ear tipped but are unwell.
All the cats that we sterilise have the tip of the left ear removed for identification, this is carried out whilst they are under anaesthetic.
Things you need:-
1. Tetanus vaccination, these last for 10 years so you may already have this.
2. An alarm clock.
3. Old clothes and comfortable shoes.
4. Lots and lots of stamina, patience and enthusiasm.
5. To be very hardworking, flexible, reliable and a good team person.
6. A love and respect of animals.
7. Pair of thick gardening glove.
Twinkle Trust T-shirts or badges are provided and these need to be worn when we are out working, this is requested by the local authorities and management of the complexes.
The accommodation is provided free of charge. What you would need to pay for is your flight, insurance and food.
As there can be quite a few people arriving throughout the first day, arrangements would be made to meet you at the airport or at the complex reception.
It is really important that you are okay to get yourself up on time in the morning and can keep going until the day is complete, it is anything but a holiday . We have to make the most of the short time that we have and try to help as many cats as possible, it is a very demanding week both emotionally and physically. I have tried to give as much relevant information as possible. It is not my intention to put anyone off volunteering but it is best you know what to expect. Without people to catch and help the trip would not be possible.
Twinkle Trust Animal Aid must state that all volunteers participate in one of these trips at their own cost and risk. TTAA cannot be held responsible for your health and safety during or after one of our trips.
If you would like to volunteer or if you need any more information please do not hesitate to contact me.