It was a happy ending for more of the animals sheltered at the Prince Rupert SPCA in 2013 than in 2012.
Adoption rates at Prince Rupert’s branch were up 32 per cent in 2013, with 78 local adoptions taking place and 135 animals being transferred out and adopted for a total of 213. Last year 289 animals were housed at the branch, which included 161 cats, 125 dogs, two rabbits and one bat.
Branch manager Anna Terebka said the Prince Rupert SPCA had a 90 per cent live release rate in 2013, meaning animals were either adopted, transferred for adoption, or were redeemed by their owner. This is up from 80 per cent in 2012.
The remaining 10 per cent are either still up for adoption,were too unhealthy to be saved, had unassisted death, post-operative death or were euthanized because they were a risk to people or other animals.
Fifty fewer animals went through the Prince Rupert SPCA last year compared to 2012, which Terebka said is because the branch no longer accepts feral cats.
“People would trap the cats and bring them to us. We no longer let that happen. A feral cat in a trap [is cruel],” Terebka said, adding the branch’s main goal of 2014 is to start a program where trained volunteers will capture feral cats, bring them to the SPCA to have them spayed or neutered, then release them.
“We’re going to leave feral cats on the streets and promote spay and neuter. Those cats have adapted to living in the wild.”
The Prince Rupert branch will apply for grants in order tolaunch the program and will take steps to educate the public on the subject.
To start off the new year, the branch will hold a volunteer orientation session to help train animal lovers and provide them with options on how to help. Potential volunteers will help with tasks like the spay/neuter program, fundraising events, humane education and advocacy, cleaning and more.
Anyone interested can get an application at the SPCA. The orientation will take place on Feb. 8 from one to five p.m.