The number of cats filling up the CARES shelter in Langley is approaching a minor crisis.
“We are 110 per cent full,” said Clive Ellis, chair of the CARES fundraising committee.
Part of that is because CARES just took in 15 cats, all from a single family, and all in need of a new home.
“We have a really good example in this room of what happens if you don’t spay and neuter your cats,” said Anne Salomon, who volunteers with CARES and other Lower Mainland cat rescue groups.
The 15 cats, black and tabbies, all originated with one pregnant cat taken in a few years ago by an elderly couple in Surrey.
It didn’t take long for the cats to multiply.
When the wife of the couple suddenly died, the husband was unable to keep caring for them. Though they were all in good condition and had led pampered lives, they needed a new home, quickly.
Working with Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue, Salomon looked for someone that could take them in, until CARES stepped up.
Katie’s Place Animal Shelter in Maple Ridge agreed to take on the medical costs for the family, while CARES is working on making sure they’re socialized and adopting them out.
“They’re all under three years old,” said Salomon.
The volunteers are hoping that many of them can go in pairs, as they’ve bonded with siblings.
So far one was adopted Tuesday, and that leaves a mom and 13 more young cats to go.
Meanwhile, the fact that CARES is full hasn’t stopped the arrival of new kittens and strays.
“We’re getting intakes every day,” said Ellis.
“Everybody’s running ragged,” said Salomon.
CARES could use donations, but also more volunteers and especially foster homes for some of the cats. They need places that can look after cats and kittens temporarily, helping get them socialized to being around strangers, or even other cats.
Bottle feeders are needed for some of the younger kittens.
CARES is holding adopt-a-thons and events at Langley’s PetSmart store to help find homes for as many of their animals as possible.
They also have their 13th annual Walk for the Cats walkathon coming up on Sept. 11, at Derby Reach Regional Park.
The walkathon will start with registration from noon to 1 p.m., and walkers need a minimum of $10 in pledges. The walk starts at 1 p.m. and is a 5 km walk. For more information, call Carol Briner at 604-202-0713.
CARES can be contacted at www.carescatshelter.com or 604-532-5632.