Haddington nurse’s bid to save street cats from North Macedonia
A NURSE from Haddington has been “astounded” by the community’s support in helping her create a cat room,which will be used to foster stray cats from North Macedonia.
Sue Bagley, 50, who lives with her husband and two teenage children, has already adopted one of the family’s four dogs, Wilson, and two cats, Willow and Esen, from Meow Paws North Macedonia, a charity dedicated to helping get cats and dogs off the streets.
Sue has worked closely with the charity’s founders, Iva Stojanovic and Mishko Stojnic, to set up a Scottish branch of the charity.
She now hopes to take more cats into her home by utilising a spare room.
Sue will take on the cats temporarily, ensuring they receive the appropriate vaccinations before rehoming them in Scotland.
Sue said: “When the cats come over from Macedonia, it’s sometimes difficult to find families for them and, also, if things don’t work out, you need a back-up plan for getting them to a rescue home.
“We want to offer a foster home in our house where we can look after cats short-term and then assess possible people to adopt them.
“I posted on Facebook asking local people if they had some spare things that I could use like beds and cat toys and some food.
“The response has been astounding and we’ve got enough to fill the room and more now.
“I’m just incredibly grateful to the people of East Lothian for their generosity and help.”
Sue’s cats testing out the new equipment
The journey from North Macedonia to Scotland is a lengthy one for the cats, who are transported by van.
It takes about three days, as the van stops in other countries including the Netherlands and Romania to drop off cats.
Sue registered Meow Paws North Macedonia as a Scottish charity in January last year, and works alongside other trustees in Scotland to help bring cats and dogs into the country for adoption.
Sue, who works as a full-time advanced nurse practitioner at Cromwell Harbour Medical Practice in Dunbar, where her husband Simon is a doctor, remains in regular contact with Iva and Mishko.
They launched the North Macedonian charity in 2010, taking cats and dogs off the streets into their home, and later creating a shelter.
Iva said: “We are very happy to have friends in Scotland who are helping us with the cats and dogs.
“We are getting regular updates, photos and videos, and it’s lovely to see how happy our saved animals are, knowing that they had a rough start in life.”
Iva added: “Here, the situation for stray animals is desperate. There are thousands of strays wandering around on the streets, hungry and wounded.
“We are taking all wounded animals under our care, particularly the ones who will not survive on the streets.”
Iva and Mishko hope to one day set up a larger outdoor premises and have so far raised more than £5,000 to do so.
East Lothian Courier