Salena Hodgson established PussnBoots Kitty Rescue purely by accident. It all started in January 2020, after she saw disheartening posts on social media about a litter of three-week old kittens being dumped individually around Temuka, South Canterbury. This is her story.
Temuka is a small country town with a population of approximately 4580 and a whole lot of unwanted kittens and cats. Some kittens were dumped in town, fortunately, these kittens were found and taken into a rescue, but it had me going through a range of emotions: angry, upset, mostly frustrated and why? Why would someone do this to any tiny defenceless animal?
With that, I popped a post on a community page stating I would put a crate at my gate, gave my address, and said if someone felt they had no choice but to dump animals then they could stick them in the crate. Little did I know that was the beginning of something way bigger than I could ever imagine.
Within an hour, we had our first kittens and, from there, I guess PussnBoots was formed. The calls from all around the district and further afield left days with little time to stop and think about where we were heading as a family or a business.
The kittens kept coming and so too did the mother cats, the wild cats, the dumped and the strays, along with the odd one who had gone walkabout and found themselves lost and needing a helping hand to find their way home.
Day after day we got busier and busier; initially we didn’t realise how far the word had spread about PussnBoots, but it seems our friendly approach was talked about often.
Generally, funding has been one of our biggest issues. I was funding the rescue mainly by myself, with a small handful of supporters, and we still struggle getting enough money to care for the large amount of kittens that keep coming in; not to mention supporting families in the community with items like flea and worm products.
Finding enough foster carers to deal with the influx of fur babies who desperately need care has also been a major struggle, and at times it feels like we are all on our own. It was extremely important to me that we adopted a zero kill policy very early on as the aim is first and foremost to care, nurture, rehabilitate and rehome.
To date, we have had 178 cats and kittens come into our care. About 40 are currently waiting to find their forever home. At the moment, we have just eight foster carers on board who are always at capacity and we are always on the look out for more.
Over recent months, between the hustle and bustle of litter trays and vet visits, I reached out to like-minded people and together we successfully took PussnBoots a step further and formed a non profit charity. Our trustees are all animal lovers and believe fully in what we are doing, and we anticipate going from strength to strength.
With phone conferencing as our main source of communications due to previous COVID-19 restrictions, we get together once a month to discuss fundraising, our accounts and progress reports, as we constantly try to improve our services.
We support a neuter/spay, vaccinate, microchip and rehome policy; all our animal visitors have the best of care with full access to veterinary care as and when required.
PussnBoots is just one of many rescues around New Zealand that strives to support its communities to ensure cats are loved and cared for without harm and neglect. We applaud their hard work and dedication because we know just how trying it can sometimes be.