Funds go for medical care

The Shewan family has a soft spot for cats. They care so much about cats, they delivered a $20,000 cheque to ensure cats (and dogs, too) in the Langleys have a better chance at finding long-term love.

Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) general manager Sean Baker noted the funds will make a significant difference in the lives of the animals coming at the Patti Dale shelter as well as cats that are “free living.”

“Because of their [the Shewan family’s] generosity, we have been able to establish a medical fund for both cats and dogs,” Baker said. “This helps with important, but not necessarily critical medical issues.”

Baker explained this can include items like dental care, better diet, removal of lumps, and other concerns a pet owner would normally take care of. 

“They are things that make the animals healthier, help them live longer, and make them easier to adopt,” he added. “If we can reduce some of those barriers to adoption we can get these guys out quicker.”

When asked if the donation came as a surprise, Baker noted there was a not-so-subtle hint just prior to the gift. 

“Stacey [Kosturos] called me and said, ‘I’d like to come see you, are you going to be around next week?’ I asked if it was good news and she said, ‘yes,’” Baker commented.

Kosturos came with the cheque and a few family members to make the presentation. Baker said he tried to explain the amount of money, and the significance of the gift, to the younger visitors by relating it to candy.

“They couldn’t understand 80,000 gumballs either,” he noted. 

The donation also helps with the LAPS spay and neuter program.

“We do about 20 certificates [for free spay and neutering] a month. It costs about $12,000 a year,” said Baker. “We are committed to spaying or neutering 240 cats a year that never come into the shelter. Some are free-living cats – they are feral or are just homeless. People let us know there is a free-living cat in the area, we catch them, spay or neuter them, then return them. It helps control the cat population. Others are from low income families.”

Baker noted about $100,000 a year is spent on veterinary care alone for the animals under the care of LAPS. The Shewan gift will benefit many local animals.

“They’re really community minded,” said Baker. “They’ve been in Langley a long time.”

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