"The Jetty Cats" is our name for the colony of cats that resides in the dock area of Westport.
This colony exists because irresponsible residents abandon their unwanted pets at this location.
Before the birth of HAVA, an entire earlier colony was eradicated by poison, only to have a new colony replace it. Not long after HAVA first organized, we heard that the colony was once again being targeted for extinction.
This time they were being shot at, clubbed, chased by dogs, and trapped and killed. We learned of this when the person feeding the colony began finding the bodies, some dead and some barely alive. HAVA volunteers trapped the remaining twenty-two animals, transported them to the vet for testing, vaccinations, spay/neuter and ear-clipping for identification and moved them to the property of one of our volunteers, where they have spring water and shelter from the elements.
HAVA has continued to replenish their food supply every day. Of course, with the dumping of new animals, the colony has again built up. HAVA has again trapped, spayed, neutered, vaccinated and returned them to the docks, where they have thrived under the care of Sylvia Ross, and others, who feed them daily. Many of the Jetty Cats are domesticated, and can be petted and held by the caretakers. They are not feral cats, but abandoned animals who were once someone's pets.
These unfortunate creatures, whose only crime is not having a permanent home, keep the rodent population down, which makes them a valuable asset to the community. Many tourists have come to care about the Jetty Cats, and make a point of visiting them on their travels to Westport. When the owners of the Westport Winery heard about the Jetty Cats, they named one of their red wines after them -- Jetty Cat Red. It remains their best-selling red wine, and HAVA is the grateful beneficiary of a percentage of the proceeds from every bottle sold.