Learning about animal welfare came with a side of cute last week when members of the Hāwera Girl Guide Rangers group visited The Scratching Post in Stratford.
Karma Andrews, a trustee of The Scratching Post, says it was great to meet the girls and answer their questions about the local charitable group.
"They learned what we do here. We also discussed the importance of desexing kittens to try and slow down and stop the cycle of uncontrollable breeding."
Guide leader Leonie Spalding says the information they learnt helps the rangers obtain their animal welfare interest certificate.
"It was great for the kids to meet with Karma and learn about what she does and all the work that goes into the kitten season and adoption process."
Ranger Charlotte North says the visit was interesting.
"I learnt about the process of putting kittens up for adoption and all the work that Karma does."
Charlotte joined the Hāwera Rangers this year and says the visit was one of her favourite things so far.
"Meeting Sass and Reggie the kittens is definitely one of my highlights. They're so cute."
Lara Abraham (14) says she was shocked to hear how many kittens The Scratching Post have to rehome each kitten season.
"Karma told us they rehome between 100 and 200 kittens each season. That's a lot of kittens and a lot of work into feeding them and getting them ready for adoption. We also learnt as a result of Covid-19, the cats couldn't get into surgery unless it was an emergency, which resulted in even more kittens."
Summer Southey (12) says it was interesting to meet the kittens.
"Sass is so fluffy and adorable. Reggie was also really cute. Reggie will need surgery since he was born without a foot. He doesn't let it stop him though, he's a really happy kitten."
The Hāwera rangers group is always open for new members, with the potential of a Stratford group being set up if there was enough interest says Leonie.
"At the moment I take Charlotte and Lara to Hāwera because there are not enough rangers to set up a group here. We're always looking for more."