Many shelters are overflowing with cats. Some are feral while others were abandoned by their owners or escapees that were never found.  The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies states that more than 600,000 cats are brought to their shelters each year. The CFHS also reported that adoptions have increased from 28% to 53% with 61% of owners adopting shelter cats. Currently only 1 in 2 shelter cats will  be adopted so rescues and sanctuaries are working to continue finding homes!

Organizations that help Cats:

Shelters, SPCAs, Humane Societies & Pounds: These are typically government-funded (often at the municipal level) and operate out of a centralized building. Shelters will provide animals with food, a place to sleep and the veterinary attention they need. They are often top-of-mind when an animal is found or if someone needs to abandon their pet.

Rescue groups: Rescue groups tend to be smaller organizations run by dedicated volunteers. Shelter cats are fostered in homes and the organizations are limited in many pets they can care for at a time. “Having a network of foster homes allows every shelter cat in our care to be part of someone’s home. It gives a rescued cat a chance to adapt to living with a family, sometimes with other cats, dogs and/or children. Adopters play a crucial role in our rescue work, because for every cat that is adopted from our program, we can save one more” says Sarah May from the Toronto Cat Rescue (TCR).

Rescues and shelters charge an adoption fee to cover fees and supplies for their animals.

Sanctuaries and Feral Care: A feral cat is a cat that was born outside with little to no human contact. They adapt to living outdoors and are typically not suitable for adoption. Many groups in Canada work to address the needs of feral cats by providing food, water, shelter and medical care. They also work to reduce breeding by spay/neutering before releasing feral cats back into their colonies.  “RAPS Sanctuaries provides a permanent home to both feral and unadoptable tame cats. There are currently around 500 cats, although the Society cared for more than 800 at one time” says Leslie Landa of The Richmond Animal Protection Society in Richmond, BC.

About The Author Michelle Edmundson

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