Funding from a PetSmart Charities of Canada grant will help sterilize hundreds of cats on the North Island.
The $47,000 grant, announced late in 2014, will go toward spaying and neutering homeless cats in several communities located on northern Vancouver Island and the surrounding area, including Port Hardy, Alert Bay and Sointula.
“Abandoned and free-roaming cats are forced to fend for themselves outdoors, suffering from starvation, illness, injury, freezing or below-freezing temperatures and predator attacks,” says Amy Morris, BC SPCA policy and outreach officer, noting that 75 per cent of kittens born outdoors die before the age of six months.
The grants will go toward sterilizing more than 300 outdoor cats over the next two years, with help from a strong partnership forged between a local cat advocate and trapper, North Island Veterinary Hospital, CATS Meow Society and the BC SPCA, Morris notes.
“This partnership is another fantastic example of the great work being done across the province to give spay and neuter surgeries to entire colonies of outdoor living cats,” she says, adding that the first round of surgeries has begun. “We are committed to ending the cycle of suffering for cats in B.C.”
Jacquie Fenrich, a veterinary technician at the North Island Veterinary Hospital and a member of the CATS Meow Society, agrees.
“Because these communities are remote, access to animal shelters or resources like veterinarians are limited,” Fenrich says. “We’re so excited to receive the PetSmart Charities of Canada funding. It will go a long way to help the problem.”
If you would like to donate to help with medical expenses, volunteer your time to help trap, neuter or transport cats or even foster socialized cats, please contact Jacquie Fenrich at the North Island Veterinary Hospital.
For more information, visit spayneuter.ca.