Since February 2013, Josette has been making daily visits to the cats living in the pagoda.
Her mission consists of:
- Feeding all the cats living on the grounds of the pagoda, with wet and dry food
- Providing on-the-spot medical care for the cats that have small ailments (skin infection, eye infection, minor wounds…)
- Taking away more seriously injured or sick cats and kittens for treatment either at her home or at a veterinary clinic
- Inviting overseas volunteer veterinarians to sterilize the cats at her home clinic
- Ensuring that the cats are not abused and educating the people – especially the children – of the pagoda to respect all the animals
- Promoting the adoption of the pagoda cats
Why we do it
Abuse, neglect, illness, injuries, death… These are the conditions in which these cats and kittens were found at the pagoda by Josette before receiving care.
And they are the very reason the charity was created.
These tiny kittens were dumped on the pagoda grounds. Deprived from their mother at a vulnerable stage of their life, they died soon after this picture.
Abandoned, too young or in poor health, many kittens didn’t make it to adulthood. Finding dead kittens was a tragic but regular event.
Almost all the kittens abandoned at the pagoda have highly contagious eye infections, ear mites and worms.
Without help, they weaken and die soon after.
Roundworms, infectious diarrhea and other ailments are very common as well. As they are all living with each other, epidemics are unforgiving.
Pagoda cat found at the pagoda with a broken hind leg, a burned paw and a severe case of diarrhea. He would have certainly died without our emergency medical care.
Pagoda cat first seen with a big mouth abscess and a nasty wound on his right hind leg. He couldn’t eat anymore and would have died without medical care. Once recovered, he was adopted by the pagoda’s Head Monk.
Kitten found in the pagoda with his face painted by a four-year old boy. Fortunately his eyes were spared but without proper care, he could have been submitted to other abuses.
Kittens often roam free and sleep outdoors in sunny spots. Often bicycles and motorbikes run over them, leaving them with serious or fatal injuries. This kitten had to be euthanized soon after this picture as he was too badly injured.
Kitten found emaciated and with an infected burn wound on her back. Fully recovered after a long treatment, she has been returned to the pagoda, her home.
Many kittens roam free in the Pagoda’s kitchen, and are at risk of being injured, burned or abused by unsupervised young children. Some are mauled by stray dogs. It is a dangerous life for them, with many deadly traps.
Why cats in pagodas?
It’s a common habit for Cambodians to bring unwanted pets to a nearby pagoda.
The main reason is often an unexpected litter of kittens or puppies, but sometimes people do not know how to deal with their pet’s medical condition, and prefer to abandon them than pay high medical fees to treat them.
Every Cambodian pagoda is a de-facto animal shelter housing dozens of animals.
Prior to Josette’s arrival in February 2013, none of the kittens and cats living at Wat Athvea pagoda had ever received any medical treatment. They were only fed with leftovers from the monks’ food and suffered from malnutrition, parasites, various ailments, as well as mild and serious injuries. Many kittens were in a weak state and were dying within a few days of their arrival, and the monks just left them to die.
Since she started her work, the chances of survival of many cats have dramatically increased, and their quality of life has greatly improved. They are fed every day, are treated against worms and fleas and get medical treatment whenever needed. Many have been sterilized. More and more furries end up being adopted by residents of Siem Reap, and live a happy life with a caring, loving family.