Wednesday, August 08, 2012

International Rescue: Sudan

Kylie and Ranger riding back from Dulles
In early July, Alley Cat Rescue received an email from a friend of a friend who was looking for a rescue group to help a group of cats from Sudan.  Barbara, posted at the US Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, had started Trap-Neuter-Returning cats on some properties that were formerly owned by the US.  When Sudan took a large part of the property back and the facility with kitchen closed,r5gt4 the cats were left without any way to get food.  Barbara brought food to the guards, who continued to feed the cats.

Meanwhile, on another part of the property, new people came and were complaining that the cats were scaring their dogs.  This prompted the security office to forbid the guards from feeding the cats anywhere on the property.  Barbara had no choice at the point- she either had a rescue the cats herself and let them starve.  So Barbara started bringing them into her home, and working with them. 

The political situation in Sudan is complicated and unstable, and Barbara realized that there was a chance she would have to evacuate quickly.  If this happened, she would not be able take all of the cats with her because of housing regulations, so she started looking around for someone in the US who might be able to take them and find them forever homes. 

When we received the email requesting help, we thought that we had the resources to give these cats a chance, so with emails flying back and forth over the Atlantic, slowly a plan came together to fly 9 cats from Khartoum to Amsterdam to Washington DC.

A date was worked out, and the cats were scheduled to arrive at Dulles Airport on Saturday, August 4th.  My husband Scott and I (Kylie Riser) drove out to the airport, found our way to the cargo area and waited for the plan to land.  After about an hour of waiting, we were told that the cats did  not make it onto the plane and were rescheduled to arrive on Sunday.  So we headed home, and waited another night.

On Sunday morning, the gentleman who worked at the KLM cargo area gave me a phone call to let me know that the cats were in fact on the plane, and we could pick them up around 4 p.m.  We headed back out to Dulles.  The sky was ominously dark on the way there, and  were were sure we were going to get soaked, but luckily the rain help off until the cats were all loaded into my car and we were on our back to the ACR office.

We need a bigger car for ACR to fit this many cats!

The cats had arrived safe and sound!  Six carriers with 9 cats were waiting for us.  We check them through customs with the help of the KLM cargo staff who went out of their way to help us, played cat puzzle trying to get them all in my car, and were on our way. 

Scott and I brought them back to the office, where they are all set up in our boarding area.  They are beautiful cats, but they are definitely a little freaked out by the trip, and will need some special attention. 

We are going to feature the cats over the next few days so you can read about each individual cat and their story.  We are looking for very special homes for them, as most of them started off as feral cats and need experienced cat people who will give them the time, love and patience it will take for them to be wonderful pets! 

If you are interested in helping these cats, either through adoption or through a donation, you can email us at or donate through Network For Good.


Kathy Watson said...

Fantastic. Love the work you do!

MimiTabby said...

would love to see what the Sudanese cats look like!!