Our Journey Ahead for 2011

Aside from having been busy completing our financials for the year 2010 in January and preparing our KPIs for 2010 to publish, we have been stewing in excitement about the things in store for Love Kuching this year and we would like to share it with all of you!

We would love to have a published annual report for 2010 to detail our performance as a rescue group in the year past, publishing in print regarding our plans for 2011, just like how public corporations do with their stakeholders. (Yes we may be small but we dream big). Well, this year isn’t it – but we promise we will have more written literature and published figures in print about Love Kuching Project in future!

Sharing with every one of you about our journey and plans for the year ahead is so important to us because everyone: donors, readers, rescuers, stray cat caregivers, pet owners, adopters – makes a difference in changing the climate for cat welfare in this country. So in the meanwhile, here we are sharing with you here on our blog, what we will be doing in the year ahead to improve further over the past year.
 
Before we unveil our plans for 2011 here is a recap on the 4 main tenets of Love Kuching in a nutshell:

About Love Kuching Project by The Water Dish

“Loving the cats in our lives and neighbourhoods.”

We are a community-based cat rescue group in Singapore that focuses on the following 4 cat welfare objectives:

Rescue of cats in need
Rehabilitation of cats at risk such as the young, orphaned and abandoned. 

Sterilisation of stray cats
Conducting TNRM (Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage) projects for stray cat colonies.

Adoption of pet cats
Providing adoption opportunities for the cats we rescue and rehabilitate and raising awareness of pet adoption.

Cat care education
Sharing and informing on cat care to help owners make better lives for their cats.

Our plans for 2011 focus on improving the quality and quantity of our cat welfare work based on the abovementioned 4 tenets.

Initiatives in furthering cat care education
At present, our cat care education is primarily through our online mediums of our blog, Twitter, Formspring, and Facebook. We also communicate to cat owners, primarily adopters, sharing advice on cat care issues over email or the phone. Our open communication with adopters is part of our adoption after-care where we believe that adopters should be able to come to us at any time with questions they have on caring for their new cat.

This year we are hoping to launch two initiatives to further our cat care education and our adoption after-care. The first is that we plan to launch cat care events where cat owners can meet, share stories and tips, and hear from experienced speakers on cat care. The second is that we will be publishing a booklet on cat care, one that can be part of the adoption package, as a reference book on the basics of cat care, as well as be made available for cat owners everywhere. For both initiatives, we have the support of our sponsor The Water Dish. 

There are other plans in the pipeline to expand our mediums of cat care education as well to add on to the above, and they will be published when we have firmed up these ideas. We are also introducing a new volunteer to help out with this media and communications aspect of our work.

Expanding our sterilisation work
At present, we are sterilising stray cats 1 location a month i.e. 1 TNRM project a month, and limiting our work to colonies in need that are nearest to Ubi.

This year, we are hoping to extend this. We will be recruiting a volunteer to help run the TNRM projects: more hands and legs, another mouth to help us liaise with cat feeders on the ground in the TNRM process. This means we will be able to take on TNRM projects at an improved rate of 2 a month instead of 1, which means double the number of cats per month. We will also be purchasing another Cat Welfare Society membership so we can get more reimbursement funds as $500 is the cap per month per member; to accommodate the increase in the number of stray cats we will be sterilising from now on.


Improving adoption
In terms of numbers adopted per month, we will still be hovering around 3-5 adoptions per month until we expand the space that we have currently to foster rescues. We do have plans to expand, but the expansion is contingent on a lot of determinants that cannot be fixed at this point in time.

This year, we are endeavouring to increase the adoption prospects of kittens that are above 2 months old. Kittens that are 2 months and above in age have a very hard time getting adopted and stay with us for a long time before they do. This is despite the fact that kittens under 3 months of age are less healthy as they haven’t fully developed their immune systems, and are likely to fall ill or even die suddenly. While a select group of cat lovers actually prefer adopting older kittens or adult cats, the general preference of adopters still leans towards younger kittens between 4 to 8 weeks of age.

To improve the adoptability of older kittens, we are budgeting to provide booster vaccinations for kittens that are 2 months and older. This means that adopters will not need to bear the financial burden of vaccinating their kittens when they adopt, which incentivises the adoptions of older kittens.

Increasing adoptions will mean more resources to take in new needy rescues. Thus, while we have still not yet arrived at a bigger physical space, we can increase the number of rescues we can shelter by increasing adoption rates in the meantime.

These are the plans that are already scheduled to be rolled out this year. We will share more on the specifics of each of the plans outlined above throughout the year ahead, and unveil new plans that become concrete as we move through the new year. In any case, we are on a trajectory, and aim to continually raise the bar on community-based cat welfare work in our country. Join us in our exciting journey ahead!

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