One year on: community members gather for memorial of the Stockton Breakwall Cats

Many gathered near the breakwall to pay their respects. Photo: The Stray Cats Project.

 

IT has been a year since The Port of Newcastle hired a contractor to kill a colony of cats on Stockton Breakwall.

On the night of 17 December 2020, a contractor killed and severely injured many stray cats who made their homes on Stockton Breakwall.

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Stockton residents and community groups were left shocked after waking to find all but thirteen of the cats killed.

One year later, the Stray Cats Project organised a memorial to pay respect to the cats which lost their lives.

“They will forever be in our hearts,” a representative from The Stray Cats Project said.

“We wanted to remember them- remembering how they touched our lives and how these innocent cats had their lives turned upside down with many lives cruelly taken,” they said.

The memorial was a peaceful event in which community members could take a moment to remember what the cats meant to them.

Darren Brollo, Animal Justice Party Regional Group Leader said that it wasn’t just the cats who suffered trauma due to the event, it affected all of those who had been working with the cats.

“The Port of Newcastle commissioned this kill, but did they stop for a moment to consider the aftermath of this massacre and the ongoing trauma these dedicated volunteers (of The Stray Cats Project) have endured this past year?” he said.

The Stray Cat Rescue had been working with the cats in a trap, neuter and release plan, aiming to rehome and adopt the remaining breakwall cats.

Before the ordered cull, the group had already managed to bring the population of the breakwall from 100 cats to 40 with their successful program.

“We are so very thankful for the support we were shown at our memorial for the Stockton Breakwall cats.

“Some people wandered up the breakwall where they laid flowers on the rocks and others placed them in the water.

“We all remembered them in our own way,” The Stray Cats Project said.

 

By Tara CAMPBELL

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