We meet one of our dedicated cat neutering volunteers who makes a huge difference to cats.
In honour of Volunteers’ Week, from 1-7 June, we’re putting the spotlight on some of our outstanding volunteers across the charity. Without them, Cats Protection wouldn’t be able to help the thousands of cats that we do every single year.
Today we’re looking at the role of 19-year-old Rakib Hussain, who’s a Neutering Officer for North Birmingham Branch. Cats Protection champions neutering as the only effective way to reduce the number of unwanted cats in the UK and it has many benefits for cats and their owners, including your cat being less likely to roam, fight and spray.
“As a Neutering Officer, I am responsible for responding to enquiries that come in via our phone helpline and sending out neutering vouchers, or following up with a letter and other information/flyers etc as appropriate,” says Rakib.
“I am sending 20-30 letters a week. CP has done a great job of making this role convenient for me where every month I am delivered stationery, leaflets and letters, and envelopes/stamps.”
Rakib joined the charity over a month ago after stumbling across a YouTube video on fostering.
“I did not feel that fostering was for me but I was keen on finding out other volunteering opportunities. When I had a look at my branch's volunteering page to my surprise I found a number of roles and I applied to what I felt was most suitable for me – the Neutering Officer.
“One of the reasons I chose to volunteer was to prove to myself that I am still devoted to a cause that has been close to my heart for so many years. Every pet owner's worst nightmare is the loss of their feline companion and I can say that it was the most difficult for me, especially as a full-time university student. However, I knew that this was not the end and that my love and respect for cats can still be shown by helping so many cats that are in desperate need. For Cats Protection to be the UK’s leading feline welfare charity meant that my involvement here would have purpose and I am humbled to be part of a charity that is making a difference to the lives of so many cats.”
Rakib’s interest in cat welfare started at just 15 years old.
“My initial contact with Cats Protection was to discuss the issue my area faced with the number of community cats that had concerned me. As a 15 year old I was unaware of what needed to be done to prevent the unwanted litter of kittens and help the stray cats. The telephone conversation I had with a volunteer who I now keep in touch with was one of the most informative conversations I have ever had as I was educated on the welfare of felines.
“Thanks to Cats Protection, my area was introduced to a neutering campaign in which a number of cats and kittens were neutered or spayed. This campaign was extremely successful and I was blown away with the progress, as the number of feral cats has decreased greatly. To know that Cats Protection prevented further more unwanted kittens from being born which go on to be feral inspired me very much to go on to apply as I got older.
“Volunteering is exceptionally rewarding. During your time as a volunteer, everything you do, whether small or big contributes to the welfare of cats in need. As mentioned before, by volunteering you are showing that you strongly believe in a particular cause. Volunteering is at the very core of being human and no one has made it through life without someone else's help.”
To anyone else considering volunteering for Cats Protection, Rakib has the following advice: “You are one step away from helping and supporting thousands of cats. Do not think that by volunteering you will be in conflict with your day-to-day activities. Whether you're studying for exams or have a full-time job elsewhere, you can still volunteer as it is extremely flexible. The ethic here is incredible and very inspiring. Every month we hold a meeting where we get together and report our progress but also get to know each other more. It really is a great opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and ages.”
Thanks to all volunteers past, present and future and to everyone who supports, enables, manages and leads volunteering within Cats Protection. Our volunteers make a difference in every part of the organisation, in our communities and to all the cats we help every year.
By volunteering for Cats Protection, you’ll make a difference, feel good, learn new skills and most of all have fun! Find our more at www.cats.org.uk/volunteer