There are eight kittens in one cage at the Revelstoke animal shelter – a mixture of orange, black, gray and calico. Some look longingly out of the cage at me, while others shy away from my presence.
They are amongst at least 10 cats and 22 kittens at the shelter these days, some of them born there after their pregnant mothers were rescued. Their presence has the Revelstoke & District Humane Society (RDHS) in a bind as they struggle to feed and care for the animals.
“This is the highest number of cats we have seen at one time in about eight years,” said Joy Armstrong, a member of the society’s board, in a presentation to council on Aug. 26. “Our goal is to find homes for these kittens and adults cats in the near future as our shelter is nearing its limit and will be over full if the animals are not adopted out.”
The RDHS was started in 2003 with the goal of improving the welfare of animals in the community. They run a shelter in the public works yard where stray pets are brought by the animal control officer. The animals are brought in after they are seen repeatedly in the wild.
“There are lots of cats out there, pregnant moms that have come into us,” said Armstrong. “Nobody claimed them and if they would have had kittens and they would have not been handled, they would have become feral. I’ve also got six that I’m fostering that were found in wood piles.
If the animals go unclaimed for five days, they are put up for adoption.
Volunteers feed and care for the animals and try to socialize them so become good pets. They also help pay for the cost of having pets spayed and neutered to prevent an increase in the number of strays or neglected animals. The society needs funding to cover the cost of care of the cats and kittens that have come into their care.
“We recognize a lack of public awareness,” said Armstrong. “We commonly get questions from the public asking where we’re located and how they can adopt our animals.”
As a result of this, the RDHS is hosting an open house on Saturday, Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to raise awareness of what they do, as well as find homes for the animals in their care.
“We are hoping we can find homes for our kittens and find some volunteers as well,” Armstrong said. “We will take this opportunity to educate the public on how many kittens and cats are without homes in our community. We will urge the public to spay and neuter their pets so we can keep their numbers down.”
If you are interested in meeting any of the animals in the Animal Shelter, please contact the Animal Control Officer at 250-837-4747.