This kitten was surrendered in the first year of the roundup.

Roundup aimed at ending kitty crisis in Langley

Event organizers predict at least 30 kittens and pregnant or nursing cats will be turned in Saturday.

A one-day massive kitten roundup this coming weekend is expected to help alleviated Langley’s cat overpopulation crisis – every so slightly.

Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) is hosting its fourth annual roundup on Saturday, and executive director Jayne Nelson predicts close to 30 cats and kittens will be brought in during the one-day project.

“This is an opportunity for Langley residents to help give a second chance to their cats and kittens that they can no longer care for,” Nelson said.

“It is open to any pregnant or nursing mama cats, as well as any kittens under one year old,” she explained.

“We want to provide a safe option for folks who can no longer care for their cats. There will be no fees or judgement… just compassion and kindness,” Nelson promised, estimating 80,000 new kittens are born in Langley every year – most of them unwanted.

“People can just come to the shelter [26220 56th Ave., Aldergrove] on the 11th with their cats or kittens, they don’t need to call or make an appointment,” she said, explaining the options.

“We will also have street teams that will be able to pick up any unwanted cats or kittens, if transportation is an issue.”

People can simply call or text the Kitten Roundup hotline at 604-690-5232 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on March 11 to make those arrangements.

“We are always grateful to the kind people who find these kittens and bring them in,” she said, reaffirming there is no cost or judgement associated.

Since its inception in 2013, the kitten roundup has taken in more than 100 kittens and nursing or pregnant moms – about 40 at last year’s roundup alone.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW PHOTO

CAPTION: At least 30 kittens and pregnant or nursing cats are expected to be surrendered to LAPS this weekend, during their fourth annual free Kitten Roundup.

Options for pet owners

There is another option, for cat owners who want to continue providing a safe and loving home for their cat, but can’t afford to have their feline friend spayed or neutered.

“We will also be giving out a limited number of free spay and neuter certificates to people with low incomes,” Nelson said.

“We don’t want money to be the barrier that prevents someone from being a responsible pet owner.”

Again, for information, people can call the roundup hotline.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW PHOTO

At crisis level

“The cat overpopulation crisis is very real,” Nelson said.

Of the 80,000 new kittens each year, the kittens are born to two different groups of cats, she explained.

The largest group are the estimated 22,000 unowned, free-living, and feral cats living in Langley.

Most of these cats are unspayed and unneutered and are producing thousands of kittens each year.

“Sadly, 75 per cent of the kittens born to these unowned cats will die before reaching the age of six months,” Nelson said.

The second group of cats contributing to the large number of kittens born each year is “surprisingly,” owned cats, Nelson added, noting that about 25 per cent of owned cats are still not spayed or neutered and are reproducing and contributing thousands of new kittens each year.

The LAPS’ run Patti Dale Animal Shelter in Aldergrove sees at least 400 cats surrendered each year, at different ages and in varying conditions.

“Every year, kittens are brought to us that have been found; abandoned in boxes on the side of the road, in parks or discarded like garbage in dumpsters,” Nelson explained, pointing to just one example of where someone found a litter in a box in the middle of 200th Street.

“A very nice lady saw them coming out of the box, and onto the road… she stopped and rescued them, and brought them to us,” Nelson said, insisting the roundup is meant to end such thoughtless methods of abandonment in future.

“We are going to be on the road and in shelter, ready and willing to take as many pregnant cats and kittens (less than 1 year old) as we can. We have the space and many great homes just waiting to give a shelter kitty a new home.”