Volunteers wanted to relocate island feral cats while the government wanted to euthanize them

Little Bay Islands is off the coast of Newfoundland and the entire colony of human inhabitants have upped sticks and moved to the mainland a while ago.

The island is uninhabited but they left behind a few colonies of feral cats. Not everyone cared that the feral cats might starve because they were dependant on scavenging from human sources.

Little Bay Islands’ young cats. These have been rescued already . They look domesticated and very adoptable. If these are typical of the rest it would have been very bad to have euthanised them as planned by the government.

But some people have cared and they were vital to saving the lives of these cats because the government had plans to trap and euthanise them. They issued a press release to that effect.

…With relocation of residents from Little Bay Islands underway, the Provincial Government is working collaboratively with a private veterinarian to ensure feral cats in the community are safely trapped, assessed by qualified professionals and, if necessary, euthanized in a humane manner…

That was their general plan which was in contrast to the plan of the volunteers led by Linda Felix who said:

These cats are losing their caregivers, their food source, their shelters. And they’re just gonna die a long, suffering death, and I can’t live with that…

The volunteers had contacted the government to inform them of their plans to stop them killing the cats but they did not receive a response.

Linda rallied together a team to drive to the island, trap the cats and bring them back to Nova Scotia for spaying and neutering and possible adoption, where appropriate, or relocation to a barn.

In the meantime the news got around on social media that the government intended to kill rather than relocate the cats. This resulted in pressure being applied and as a consequence the employed veterinarian (to euthanise) decided to abandon the plan. The government were forced to issue a second press release in which they said they did not expect to find a replacement vet. In other words they had reluctantly decided to abandon their plans.

Ferry services to the island stop at the end of December. The volunteers plan to go to the island this weekend and they have a former resident to show them where the cats are. They are not sure how many there are but it seems that it is above 50.


It’s a victory of volunteers over government. Of humane methods over inhumane ones. Of common sense over stupidity and of decency over cruelty.

No one has mentioned the residents but they are ultimately responsible and they have done little to remedy the problem.

This is a follow up article to one I wrote recently (click to see it).


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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