Who we are and how we got started
The association, Les Chats du Mercantour*, is a TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) charity in the south of France that was initially started in 2006 by American ex-veterinary assistant, Leslie Frasier, in order to help her newly adopted village solve its out-of-control cat proliferation problem by spaying/neutering its stray cats. After appearing in the Nice Matin newspaper, word got around to the other villages in the mountain valleys of the Alpes Martimes. Then the Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis heard about us and made a television documentary about the association in 2011 and we started getting calls from all over the region from individuals and towns asking for our help. The documentary is on our homepage (if any of you out there would volunteer to put English subtitles on it, we’d greatly appreciate it!).
Along with TNR, we also rescue hundreds of cats and kittens and find them families through adoption. We do not have a “shelter” where potential adopters can come see the cats for adoption, our rescued, sociable cats are cared for by foster families until we can find them their forever home. Our foster families are primarily on the coast in towns all over the French Riviera.
Most of our sterilized, stray cats live in colonies or in individual’s gardens and are fed and cared for thanks to the volunteers who feeds them and our sponsors who allow us to supply food and veterinary care, when needed.
Although our headquarters is in the mountain village of St Etienne de Tinée, on the border of the Mercantour national park, we rescue cats all over the department and, occasionally, in the adjoining departments.
We have also expanded into helping dogs, thanks to our volunteer Tania.
As well, our association has under it’s care donkeys, an old mule and a couple of old ponies.
How you can help us help them
Become a SPONSOR!
It’s a sad reality of life, but without money, we can’t do much of anything.
Please contact Leslie if you would like to help us financially, even if it’s only 5€ per month, every little bit helps.
Adopt one of our adult cats or shy, older kittens
Everybody wants to adopt a cute little kitten and we are known to be extremely picky when it comes to finding adopters for our kittens. We generally don’t have trouble finding our “perfect kittens” good homes. However, our adult cats, no matter how “perfect” they are, often stay months and months in their temporary foster homes taking up the space of another cat that could be rescued. Shy, older kittens often fall into the same category as the adults – nobody wants them.
Become a care-giver of a feral cat
Feral cats, in general, are descendants of house cats who have been abandoned or lost. Or they could be abandoned or lost house cats that return to their wild state after being persecuted by humans. Many times, when we are called to capture feral cats we are asked to remove some of them because they are in danger or just too numerous where they are. In these cases, we try and find people who are willing to have them on their land providing them with a safe place to live out their life. These cats are also very useful at deterring rodents. If you could help us by caring for a feral cat, please let us know.
Become a volunteer
It is thanks to our team of volunteers that we are able to help so many animals.
Here are just a few ways in which you can help.
- Foster a cat or a dog the time it takes for us to find him his forever home.
- Socialize a wild kitten
- Transport of cats to from the vet or foster family
- Help with our TNR campaigns
- Help with our sale in November at Mougins School
- Sell/buy tombola tickets
- Assist us with administrative tasks
- Care for our equines, now in Mougins
CONTACTS FOR ENGLISH SPEAKERS
Organization of sterilization campaigns, donations, sponsorships, equines:
Leslie Frasier, (President and Founder) – speaks English and French – Tel: 06.18.94.35.76
Adoptions, abandoned cats, foster families:
Serena Di Iorio - Speaks English and French - Tel: 06.31.54.20.93
Tania Burrows - speaks English and French