By Sandy Meyer
FishHawk resident, Alicia Dunstan, is not one to sit idly by and watch a problem get worse. After moving to the FishHawk area, Dunstan began to notice the increasing amount of stray cats in the area and decided she needed to do something about it. With the help of other residents she formed a network of like-minded individuals and began her own adoption and TNR – Trap, Neuter, Release program.
Dunstan is a marine biologist who has always had a love of all animals, but has a special place in heart for cats. As word got out through her Facebook page, FishHawk Wildlife, she began to catch some of the stray kittens and place them in forever homes. Since March she has placed half a dozen kittens and sterilized two of the cats producing them. Her hope is for residents to understand that taking these cats to a shelter will most certainly end up in their death. “Right there in our backyard on Falkenburg Rd. they are killing 900 – 1,000 animals a month,” she said.
In addition to working with the cat problem, she hopes to inform people about all wildlife in the area. “We have a lot of snakes, many people want to kill it, kill it. That is a poor attitude in life that if you don’t like something you kill it,” she confided. An example she cited is the ducks in the FishHawk area that many residents complained about. The complaints resulted in the USDA coming out and collecting the ducks and euthanizing them. They are not placed in other habitats as many people might have thought.
With the help of her long-time boyfriend, Joe Thompson, Dunstan has begun her own animal movement to help save as many lives as she can. She frequently will go to the Falkenburg Animal Facility and take pictures of dogs and cats to try to place them before they are euthanized.
Dunstan hopes to eventually create her own non-profit and expand her operations to all types of animals. You can find more information about how to help wounded wildlife or strays in the area on her Facebook page.