A Sinn Féin councillor from south Derry has undertaken a huge task of rescuing and and rehoming dozens of feral cats and kittens.
Following several complaints from residents, Councillor Darren Totten went to investigate the back garden of a house in Magherafelt where it was reported that there were numerous feral cats.
He was shocked to find colonies of cats and kittens of all ages, totalling 29 in all.
The Magherafelt councillor said: “I sought advice and professional help but in the end found I had to decide wether I was going to try to tackle the problem myself. So I set about building a wee cat hotel and borrowing cat transportation boxes and invested in some claw-proof gloves and with the help of the local residents group we got stuck in.
“It might sound odd but it was just in the nick of time because as we worked our way through rescuing one kitty after the other we discovered that of the 13 adult cats, 12 were female - so it really had the potential to get beyond salvageable.
“Every cat had to be vetted, neutered and some needed treatment, so the bill wasn’t long totting up. I want to say thank you for the support from local people who donated cat boxes, food, money and especially all those who gave these kitties new homes.”
All of the cats have now been rehomed and Cllr. Totten stressed that he hopes this was a once in a lifetime experience and asks people to be responsible with the animals that are living in or around their homes.
He also stressed the importance of having your pets neutered and that there are discount schemes available that means it could only cost £5.