Contributed by Cyndy Mymka
When animal rescue groups work together and pool resources, wonderful things happen. Although we all have different mandates and animals we care for, working together increases the impact we can make. Here are just a couple of examples:
TRACS and the Okanagan Cat Coalition
The Okanagan Cat Coalition (OKCC) is an organization of concerned animal welfare charities, veterinarians and residents dedicated to working together with the public to permanently solve the existing cat crisis in the Central Okanagan. They propose to do this by locating abandoned cats and feral cat colonies, humanely trapping, spaying or neutering, permanently marking, then re-homing or releasing them into a safe environment to live out their lives without perpetuating the overpopulation problem.
TRACS is proud to be a member charity of the OKCC and we are thrilled with the work they are doing. We have had many opportunities to see what a difference they have made in the lives of the “community cats” in the Okanagan valley.
One such cat, a sweet little girl, had a litter of kittens that she had just weaned. Happily the kittens were all found wonderful adoptive homes. Shortly after the OKCC received a litter of tiny new born babies that were dropped off at a local vet’s office with no mother. They were not sure whether this mom cat would accept this new litter, but were hopeful. The kittens were placed with the mother to try to have her nurse them. At first she was unsure, but boy did her instincts and love kick in, and soon enough she was nursing this group of 7. Thankfully all of the kittens survived and went on to find forever homes, as did the amazing mother cat.
Last year the OKCC humanely trapped and spayed/neutered approximately 800 cats. Some were genuinely feral so were found homes as barn cats, or were released back into their colony. Volunteers have agreed to monitor these various colonies providing food and shelter for the cats, while keeping a watchful eye on them. Other cats that were either already tame or were able to be tamed found
loving homes and over 200 cats were happily adopted out to loving homes.
It is amazing the number of cats that live on the streets that have been helped, and yet at the same time sad as our work here is not done. There are many more cats and kittens to help. Please consider supporting the OKCC through a donation to one of the member charities listed below, so we can make a difference in these cats’ lives. We want every animal not to just have an existence, but a life!
Alleycats Alliance: http://new.alleycatsalliance.org/
Kelowna BCSPCA: http://www.spca.bc.ca/branches/kelowna/support/
Okanagan Humane Society: http://okanaganhumanesociety.ca/
Westbank First Nation: http://www.wfn.ca/contact.htm (no tax receipt, but a great partner for the cause)
You can also help by letting the OKCC know about any feral or abandoned cat colonies. Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OkanaganCatCoalition to report what you see.