Not many readers would have missed the story by John Cousins we published in Monday's Bay of Plenty Times about three dogs - a mastiff-cross, a bull terrier-cross and a border collie-cross - who were roaming the streets and killed two beloved cats on a quiet Welcome Bay cul-de-sac.
I heard people talking about it on the street when I went for a walk in town at lunchtime, and other media soon picked up the story . After the article was placed on our website, bayofplentytimes.co.nz, and our Facebook page, the discussion really kicked off.
I picked up a call from our news tips line 0800 253 253 yesterday afternoon and spoke for a while with a lovely lady from Maungatapu who's involved with the organisation Mana Rescue.
Her name is Debbie, and she told me how shocked she was when she read what happened to the families' cats. She asked if she could drop off a card and some flowers for the families. I thought that was a lovely gesture, and I took the flowers and cards on my way home from work.
Debbie also said the owners, if and when ready, would be welcome to one of Mana Rescue's de-sexed cats or kittens free. She did mention that she would understand if they didn't want another cat after what happened.
Normally, Mana Rescue charges $50 for cats and $150 for dogs to help cover the costs of nurturing these precious animals. This month, they have lowered the adoption fee for cats to $30 as they have a few too many currently looking for a new home.
Debbie explained that Mana Rescue is a small group of animal lovers who realised there was room in Tauranga for an organisation to help pets in need. They are a small team devoted to helping abandoned and vulnerable animals find safe, loving and forever homes.
A friend of mine had to leave the rental property she was living in about nine months ago and couldn't take her two adult cats. I would have adopted them myself if I didn't have two cats already.
The SPCA would not take them in either and, unfortunately, no one had come forward by the time the listings had run out on Trade Me. These cats were well looked after, beautiful animals but finding a new home for them at short notice proved to be hard.
As my friend was running out of time, she had no other alternative than to take them to the vet and had them put down.
She cried for days. If only we had known about Mana Rescue then.
Mana Rescue is not yet a registered charity but they do great work for abandoned animals.
The cats and dogs they look after are not confined to shelters while waiting to be adopted, but they are sharing the home of a dedicated foster carer. This means they are used to humans, children and other pets which generally means happier animals.
If you'd like to adopt a dog or a cat, offer a foster home or donate pet food or kitty litter for the animals in their care, then get in touch with Mana Rescue. You can find them, and see a bunch of great photos of their animals, at facebook.com/ManaRescue.