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Cat Sanctuary revamp

By Eyal Lichtmann

Published 12:50 PST, Fri March 5, 2021

For many Richmond families, a welcome weekend routine included a visit to the RAPS Cat Sanctuary. This “Kitty Club Med,” located in East Richmond, is home to hundreds of mostly unadoptable cats. These animals have come to us from all over British Columbia, often from jurisdictions where they would have faced euthanasia.

Like so much else, because of the pandemic, the RAPS Cat Sanctuary remains closed to the public. Staff and volunteers continue to provide the residents with all the love, care and attention they need (and demand) and the people and cats look forward to welcoming visitors back again when this health crisis is finally over.

In the meantime, we have taken the opportunity to make significant upgrades to the Sanctuary facilities. After two decades of wear and tear—the sort of wear and tear only hundreds of cats can perpetrate—some components of the facility really needed a revamp.

We have installed new pens and upgraded all cat structures, renovating flooring, roofing, sidings and insulation. Security has been improved. Landscaping projects have made the facility more pleasant for cats and people, with new garden beds, increased pedestrian safety and overall maintenance and enhancements. A spray mister was installed to help keep cats and people cool on warm summer days.

Keeping the Cat Sanctuary facilities in tip-top shape is an ongoing process, of course. So, obviously, is feeding, caring for and providing veterinary services to almost 500 cats. We depend on a small army of volunteers to deliver individualized attention to all these animals.

Another group of people who are central to the success of the RAPS Cat Sanctuary are those who sponsor cats. Through our sponsorship program, folks “adopt” a resident of the Sanctuary, contributing $25 monthly (tax deductible), which helps cover the costs of caring for one animal. We also encourage those who can afford it to sponsor a pair of bonded cats for $50. Other options include sponsoring a house or an entire area, such as our special sections for geriatric cats, FIV-positive cats, those with feline leukemia or new arrivals.

These contributions are extremely important to RAPS because they provide a reliable, predictable source of revenue that guarantees we can continue helping the animals already here and welcome more cats that could face euthanasia.

During the pandemic, many people have chosen to adopt pets. Maybe you don’t want that level of commitment, or maybe your housing situation doesn’t permit pets. Sponsoring a resident of the RAPS Cat Sanctuary is a meaningful way to connect with animals that need your support. Find out more at rapsbc.com/sponsorship.

Eyal Lichtmann is CEO and Executive Director of the Regional Animal Protection Society.

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