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Cats aplenty at RAPS

By Shena Novotny

Published 12:14 PDT, Wed June 9, 2021

A wonderful cat rescue in Calgary, called Canadian Animal Task Force Society, traps and alters stray and feral cats. Recently, they have been dealing with one of the largest colonies they have encountered and so they reached out to other animal agencies like RAPS. 

On June 2, RAPS staff drove 10 hours round-trip to the B.C. Interior to pick up 32 adult cats, and 11 kittens. Our RAPS Animal Hospital veterinarians stayed after hours until 11 p.m. to administer immediate healthcare for some of the cats on their arrival.

Another group, much smaller and with far fewer resources, is Sammy’s Forgotten Felines Rescue, in Kamloops.

They service Kamloops and Salmon Arm area and have been trapping cats at a feral colonies but, because they do not have the capacity to house all the animals they are rescuing, we have welcomed some of them to RAPS, with more slated to come our way. So far, RAPS has welcomed 26 cats from Sammy’s Forgotten Felines Rescue.

There are so many superb animal rescue agencies doing amazing work throughout British Columbia and, well, everywhere. RAPS is deeply honoured to be able to partner with them. We have a unique capacity to help because we have multiple components that almost no other animal agency has. We operate the RAPS Cat Sanctuary—the largest in Canada and home to hundreds of mostly unadoptable cats, many of whom would have faced euthanasia. We also operate the RAPS Adoption & Education Centre, where animals that are ready for their forever homes meet their new families. We operate the community-owned, not-for-profit RAPS Animal Hospital, an in-agency veterinary facility that ensures the most timely and superb care for the animals we serve, especially when they arrive in an emergency situation. (We also have thrift stores, a fostering network, an advocacy arm and more.)

Since RAPS is no longer contracted by the City of Richmond to operate animal care and control in the city, we are unencumbered by geographic limitations. Previously, RAPS would not have been able to take in cats from other jurisdictions. Now RAPS is “regional” and can take in cats from everywhere.

But what does this all mean for you? Most people know that animals make our lives, families, neighbourhoods and communities safer, healthier and happier. The work RAPS does (and other animal agencies do) makes all our lives better. For those who are thinking of adding a furry family member to their household, this embarrassment of riches in the form of so many cats could be good news for you. But the truth is … we’re not sure yet.

Most of these cats are from feral or semi-feral colonies. Of the Calgary group, three are mamas with kittens, who will be fostered until the kittens are ready to adopt. All of the animals will be vaccinated, dewormed, de-flead and given whatever other care they need, including spaying or neutering if they have not yet been altered. 

Many of the cats that arrived on June 2 seem sociable. But it will take time to see how many of the other adolescent and adult cats are actually feral. Anyone familiar with cats knows their personalities can be unique. What looks like a feral personality could merely be shyness or nerves. After a few days or weeks around people, we’ll have a better idea how many of them will be looking for a family home and how many will likely move permanently to our “Kitty Club Med”—the RAPS Cat Sanctuary.

We’ll be updating the stories of these cats at the RAPS’ website——where you can also buy tickets in RAPS first-ever online 50/50 draw where proceeds go to help the cats. Tickets on sale now!

Shena Novotny is Adoption & Education Centre & Cat Sanctuary Manager for the Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS).

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