BC SPCA will help Prince Rupert cat rescue agency, Pawz United Rescue Society (PURS), with funding for the Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR) release program the provincial animal welfare authority announced on Feb. 18.
The $3,500 grant will spay or neuter 30 to 35 cats, Chantal Cornwall, board member for PURS told The Northern View was the result of a fund matching application where the organization had to already have existing the amount that was applied for.
The allocation of the funds will go directly towards covering the cost of spay/neuter surgeries and permanent pet identification, in addition to helping groups address both community cat colonies and cats living on First Nations land.
Cornwall said the organization is constantly fundraising to ensure funds are adequate to maintain the feline welfare program they run which has “overflow” to outlying areas to assist the local SPCA.
“It’s not just Prince Rupert. It’s Port Edward. It’s outlining areas. We’ve helped Metlakatla — we just took a mama in who had her babies a few days ago as a surrender, we helped somebody in Lax Kw’alaams with a difficult situation. So, it is not just us (Prince Rupert).”
The PURS representative said that some cats have large veterinarian bills, with one recently reaching upwards of $700 for the organization, while the adoption fees remain at $135 so don’t even cover a portion of costs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a setback for those working to address cat overpopulation throughout British Columbia with challenges including spay-neuter delays, travel restrictions, and reduced capacity in staff and volunteers.
“Many of the areas we are funding this year are working in areas that struggled with access to vet care even before the pandemic,” Marieke van der Velden, outreach specialist at the BC SPCA said. “The efforts of our grantees are now more important than ever and we are excited to make this work possible.”
“By partnering with local groups we are able to reach more cats and reduce the suffering of countless cats and kittens,” van der Velden said. “In addition to preventing population growth, fixing these cats also improves the health of the individual cats and the human community in which they live and reduces human-animal conflict.”
K-J Millar | Journalist
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