NGO Highlight: PAWS is educating Mauritians to humanely manage local population of companion animals

educating Mauritians animal welfare
Photo by PAWS

NEWSDESK is publishing regular articles to honor random micro NGOs operating around the globe serving local communities under the title heading “NGO Highlight”. This is the third article of this series featuring PAWS Mauritius which is committed to educating Mauritians in humanely managing the local population of dogs and cats.

Protection of Animals Welfare Society (PAWS), is a Mauritian community driven animal welfare organization without any affiliations. PAWS claims to be a transparent CSR-accredited NGO and is totally reliant on public donations and CSR sponsorship. PAWS mission is to improve the lives of companion animals in Mauritius and assist in humanely managing the population of dogs and cats via educating Mauritians and sterilization. It’s goal is to prevent and eliminate all cruelty to all animals whether arising through ignorance, neglect or deliberate cruelty.

As PAWS moves into the next generation of its animal welfare mission, it remains, passionately convinced that there is a dire need to push the sterilization and education efforts into a higher gear, both for the welfare of Mauritian animals and local and international reputation of the country as a humane society.

Educating Mauritians on animal welfare and sterilization

In 1999 PAWS pioneered animal welfare fieldwork and advocated a national sterilization campaign, supported by a vigorous education program in schools, community centers and corporations.

PAWS believes that animal sterilization and educating Mauritians is the only humane and sustainable solution to the overpopulation of dogs and cats in Mauritius.

To date PAWS has sterilized over 50 000 dogs and cats in Mauritius and has rehabilitated and re-homed thousands of distressed and abandoned animals.

PAWS benefits from sponsorship from local companies such as Airports of Mauritius Co Ltd, Investec Bank, Kalija, SWAN, Technolgy 10, ASC, 2Futures, Deutsche Bank, Trianon, Heka Asset Management Ltd, Total CSR Fund, Animalook, Toyota Mauritius, Happy Pet Zone, Regis Holdings, Mont Choisy Shopping Center, Vidiyan and it’s individual donors include Mr Alain Zerzuben of Heka Asset Management Ltd and Dr Alice Teeuwen.

What Is Catch-Neuter-Return (CNR)?

CNR is the method of humanely trapping feral cats, having them spayed or neutered and vaccinated, and then returning them to their colony to live out their lives. CNR also involves a colony caretaker who provides food and adequate shelter and monitors the cats’ health. CNR has been shown to be the least costly, as well as the most efficient and humane way of stabilizing feral cat populations.

Catch-Neuter-Return (CNR), also known as Trap-Test-Vaccinate-Alter-Release (TTVAR) is a method of humanely trapping unaltered feral cats, spaying or neutering them, and releasing them back to the same location where they were collected. CNR is promoted by the ASPCA as a humane and more effective alternative to euthanasia for managing and reducing feral cat populations as per APSCA NYCFCI feral cat sterilization guidelines. This procedure has been proven to work by stopping the birth of new cats in the colony and letting the colony members live out their lifespan, approx 6yrs for outdoor cats, with their own group.

Generally a colony will have no more than twelve adult cats at any one time. If there are more than that number the colony will discourage newcomers and some of the current members may look for other food sources, neighboring houses etc. that have food to offer. Feral cats have many advantages as pest control for people that own acreage and/or have a farm environment. Feral cats are generally excellent hunters yet large part of the feral cats diet is actually insects. Opponents claim that the procedure has negative impacts on wildlife and contend that the program poses health risks to local communities when not properly maintained.

PAWS aligns with the Humane Society International (HSI) in endorsing Catch-Neuter-Return (CNR) as the only proven humane and effective method to manage feral cat colonies. PAWS also envisions CNR projects in Mauritius for stray dogs in appropriate environments.

How to contact PAWS :

PAWS currently maintains two animal welfare shelters and three clinics in Mauritius.

Tel: + 230 263-0541

PAWS SOUTH – Union Vale
Tel: +230 637-3025

PAWS Tamarin – Clinic only
Tel: +230 483 5882