B.C. SPCA shelters around the province are in urgent need of permanent homes for cats and kittens and the local East Kootenay animal shelter is no different.
BJ Howe, manager of the local SPCA, said they are currently housing 85 cats and kittens, whereas they would normally only have 50.
“We are packed solid,” she said.
Howe said they are not accepting any surrenders by guardians who want to give up their felines right now, although they will put a person’s name on the waitlist and let them know when they have room. She said they are seeing a lot of different surrenders.
“We get a lot of litters of kittens this time of year but we’re also getting, I don’t know whether it’s because of the economy, but we’re also getting a lot of old cats and old dogs brought to us because they need work or they are sick and the people can’t afford it,” Howe said. “We can’t afford it either.”
Howe said with the many different felines at the shelter, now is an excellent time for people to adopt a cat. Each adopted cat comes spayed or neutered, even the kittens.
Feel free to visit the local SPCA (3339 Highway 3 & 95) in person to meet all the animals sheltered there or check them out on the web at www.spca.bc.ca/branches/east-kootenay. On the web site you can see the animals available for adoption locally, find a pre-adoption checklist of things to consider before adopting and print off an adoption application form (you have to fill one out to adopt an animal from the SPCA).
The shelter is open Tuesdays through Sundays between 1 and 5 p.m. and is closed on Mondays and holidays. Animals can be viewed any time during operating hours.
SPCA shelters in Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Maple Ridge, Dawson Creek, Kamloops, Prince Rupert, Williams Lake and Quesnel are in the same situation as the East Kootenay shelter and have been forced to turn away or create waiting lists for guardians who show up to surrender their own cats and kittens.
The B.C. SPCA has about 3,100 cats and kittens in care, including more than 200 in Vancouver alone.
“Now is the height of kitten season, which is our busiest time of year,” said Mark Takhar, assistant general manager of operations for the B.C. SPCA. “We’re asking people to be patient until space becomes available.”
The B.C. SPCA is the only animal welfare organization in the province with the authority to enforce the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and continues to provide care and protection to abused, neglected and injured animals.