Andrea Roth from Animal Rescue Cambodia has very kindly shared with us a snapshot of life in Cambodia and her work with unowned cats.
The Kingdom of Cambodia in Southeast Asia is home to millions of homeless cats (and dogs). As animal welfare is still in its infancy, animals are often considered as a nuisance, food, or property. There is a lack of knowledge and understanding about how to care for animals, and consequently, there are high rates of abuse and neglect, and cats (and dogs) are often for meat, causing the brutal death of 2-3 million dogs (and cats) per year.
Animal Rescue Cambodia (ARC), a local grassroots organization, is taking a stand. Over the past 5 years, a small team of dedicated animal lovers has treated almost 30,000 animals with desexing and vaccinations together with community outreach. ARC strongly focuses on spaying and neutering to humanely and sustainably reduce the overpopulation of homeless cats (and dogs) in Cambodia.
Over the years, we particularly observed a large spread of eye deformities among cats. Many cats in Cambodia suffer from Microphthalmia (abnormally small eyes, malformation) or Eye Agenesis (upper eyelid missing, leading to the fur scratching/hurting the eye). Both are genetic diseases, given from cat mothers to their babies, and often occur due to inbreeding. Therefore, only desexing can break this cycle. Spaying/neutering is a simple procedure and has many additional health benefits and is the only human and sustainable solution to manage this overpopulation and avoid pain & suffering.
Cats like Mark and Prince are just two of thousands of cats suffering from eye deformities in Cambodia, whom fortunately Animal Rescue Cambodia is able to help with surgery, treatment, and responsible local rehoming into loving forever family homes.