The Dockyard Cats Project
The cats who live at HMC Dockyard in Halifax, Nova Scotia, are luckier than other feral cats: they have PACS President Pierre Filiatreault as their guardian angel.
As a member of the Canadian Navy, Pierre often saw cats at the Dockyard. He was dismayed by the conditions in which they were living and knew that if something was not done, their population would increase and their situation would deteriorate. He set out to change their lives for the better.
In 2005, Pierre started a Trap-Neuter-Return-Care (TNR-C) program to control the population. He humanely trapped each cat, had it examined, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and returned to its colony. One ear on each cat was “notched” (left ear for the males, right ear for the females) to show that they had already been through the TNR program, in case the cat was re-trapped. With the help of his coworkers, Pierre built insulated shelters from old boxes and scraps of wood. Any kittens captured were socialized and adopted before they were lost to the feral world. He fed the cats daily, and supplied them with fresh water and medicine.
There are two cat colonies at the Dockyard; one at the north end and one at the south end. Each colony has a heated shelter, a regular food supply with vitamin supplements, and a heated water dish for the winter. All cats are regularly de-wormed by putting medication in their food.
The cats at the north end colony live in the Saraphyna Shelter. Some of the cats in this colony are approachable; a few cats will come quite close to Pierre. One cat in this colony (Charley Brown) enjoys being petted and brushed. The cats in the south end colony are more secretive, and less often seen. Their shelter is called the Cattyshack. It is a 5-star cat shelter with toys, bunk beds and a window with a view of the harbour. The Cattyshack had an official grand opening, complete with ribbon cutting and a blessing by the padre.
There are approximately 35 cats at the Dockyard. Pierre tends them daily. He checks on them and their shelters, feeds them, gives them treats, talks to them, and plays with them. The cats often leave him special “rodent presents”; Pierre says that they are earning their keep.
The Dockyard TNR-C program is a testament to the effectiveness of TNR-C as a strategy for managing feral cats. There have been no kittens born there since 2007; the population is stable and healthy.
PACS is a non-profit organization that operates solely from fundraising, donations, and assistance from individuals/groups who support our mission. Food, shelter supplies/maintenance, medicine, and veterinary bills are costly. All donations help stray and feral cats in need.
There are several ways you can donate. PACS appreciates all donations. Charitable receipts will be provided for donations greater than $20.00.
One time gift
You may make a one-time donation to PACS. You can donate electronically, or by mail to Pierre’s Alley Cat Society, PO Box 51081, RPO Rockingham Ridge, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3M 4R8.
You may sponsor a Dockyard Cat for one (or more) months for $35.00 per month or for one year for $420. This amount covers food, vitamins, veterinary care, and shelter. Junior sponsorships are also available for children and youth.
Select the Dockyard Cat that you would like to sponsor and submit the payment (make sure you indicate which cat you would like to sponsor).
You will receive a sponsorship certificate with the cat’s name and picture.
You may honor a friend or an occasion with a tribute gift to PACS.
Examples of tribute gifts:
– Retirement – commemorates a career
– Birthday – acknowledges a special day
– Wedding – celebrates a special couple`s wedding day
– In memoriam – honors someone or a pet who has passed away
– Holiday – observes a special holiday occasion
PACS will be pleased to send an acknowledgement card on your behalf.
A legacy gift will provide PACS with the resources to help even more cats, and to move closer to the reality of establishing a sanctuary.
Consult a lawyer if you would like to include PACS in your will. You may choose to bequeath a sum of money, property, or items from your estate.
It is also important to include provisions in your will for continued care of your pet.
PACS can benefit from the payment of a life insurance policy. Consult a financial advisor if you choose to name PACS as a beneficiary.