Twinkle Trust Animal Aid

Jenny Billimore, the founder of Twinkle Trust, visited Fuerteventura for the first time in April 1995. On the complex where she stayed she was upset to find countless cats and kittens starving and suffering from cat flu.

Twinkle

On speaking to the complex owner she realised that nothing was being done either to control the cat population, or to alleviate the suffering of the sick and dying cats. She was concerned for all the cats, but in particular she fell in love with a young female cat that she named Twinkle. Jenny decided to come back for Twinkle and take her to England. Although she returned within a month with the documentation to take Twinkle home, Twinkle had caught cat flu and died after four days at the vets. It is in memory of Twinkle that the charity gets its name.

Starting the action

Jenny decided to return to Fuerteventura with a team of volunteer vets and helpers to sterilise the cat population, and to treat sick cats. The complex owner agreed to get the support of the authorities and to provide accommodation for their trip.

Homeless kittens

She managed, after a lot of hard work, to get together a team of vets and helpers that since then have visited Fuerteventura twice a year. On one visit in October 2005 they expected to work with around 100 cats, but actually, around 350 cats were treated in a week by the team, mainly for neutering, but also for other ailments such as cancer, which can affect the noses or ears of white cats in particular. You can identify cats that have been neutered by the trust as they cut off the tip of the left ear so that the cats will not be caught again unnecessarily.

3,500 and 4,000 per trip

As you can imagine, although Jenny and the vets and helpers work on a voluntary basis, cages, cat food, cat litter, medical supplies, hire cars, and petrol are very expensive, and funding is hard to come by. Each cat has to be caught by a volunteer and brought to her animal hospital and returned after recovery. Each trip is more expensive than the last and costs between 3,500 and 4,000!

Friend of Twinkle Trust

Cat on the rocksIf you would like to support Twinkle Trust, you could become a "Friend of Twinkle". An annual donation of 20 per year, or any other amount, could be put towards the drugs required to give the cats a more comfortable life. It could provide a cat cafe, where cats can be fed and given much needed fresh water.

Offer to help

Twinkle Trust does a valuable job to maintain the welfare of the many cats on the island. Twinkle Trust are looking for volunteers, either on Fuerteventura or from other places, to help during the twice-yearly visits. Volunteers get free accommodation, but have to fund other expenses themselves. Jenny would love to have contacts in each resort on Fuerteventura, who could transport a sick or injured cat to the vets. Alternatively you could foster a cat for a short time whilst it recovers from illness or an operation. Any offer that you could make would be appreciated. Please contact her if you would like to know more, or if you feel you could offer practical or financial support.

Contact details

Contact Twinkle Trust on 659 598 719 Fuerteventura
or in England 0044 208 688 9073,
or visit www.twinkletrust.org.

Twinkle Trust is a registered charity in England, no 1091253 and is an official member of the World Society for the Protection of Animals.(W.S.P.A.). They would like to thank Touricomplex and the Barcelo Hotel for providing free accommodation for the teams twice a year.

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Jenny Billimore, founder of the charity
Jenny Billimore, founder of the charity

Cat helper
Cat Helper

Feral cats sometimes need to be trapped
Feral cats sometimes need to be trapped, as they are sometimes frightened.

Ear Cancer
This cat was treated for ear cancer.

Nose Cancer
This cat for cancer of the nose.

Kitten recovering
This kitten was very ill but is now nearly recovered, each cat has a teddy bear in its cage!

Cat cafe
One of the cat cafes provided by the charity.

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