Catching and helping stray and feral cats can be a tireless and thankless job.
It also not only doesn’t pay, it can get expensive so that’s why the volunteers behind ABC Cat Rescue and Adoptions are hosting a fundraiser Friday night to try to raise money for medical bills.
Brittany Gidon and Crystal Wallis each started their own rescues years ago then more than two years ago came together to form ABC Cat Rescue and Adoptions
“I started very young,” Wallis explains. “I rescued a rabbit at five years of age and never stopped.”
|Kittens brought in by ABC Cat Rescue and Adoptions at Bosley’s downtown Chilliwack on Feb. 24. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)|
Now the two, along with help from volunteer, Erika Pringle, work hard rescuing stray and feral cats, getting them spayed and neutered. The cats are then either returned to where they came from, but unable to reproduce, or they are adopted.
This is part of the TNR policy adopted by many animal rescues in North America. That’s trap, neuter, return.
“In our local area, there aren’t many other animal rescues that focus on ferals,” Wallis said. “Ferals can become an invasive species if left unattended for too many years.”
Recently they helped out with two other local volunteers who are unaffiliated to an organization, Christy Moschopedis and Jill Robertson, who have been tackling a massive number of feral cats on one small Chilliwack cul-de-sac.
By late November they had caught 59 cats in the out-of-control colony. By Feb. 25, the two had trapped 90 cats in that one location.
Gidon and Wallis say the issue needs to be addressed before mass breeding of feral cats becomes a conservation issue as birds are hunted to near extinction.
“ABC Cat Rescue is passionate about helping ferals and strays to get neutered or spayed and rehomed,” according to their Facebook about-us page. “It prevents the ferals and strays from breeding, and it gets the cats off of the streets and into good homes. We want to be able to provide for the cats and the community and lead others to do the same in their own communities.”
Now the two are hoping to raise some funds to help pay the medical bills with an event March 1 at Corky’s Irish Pub.
”We are a three-person non-profit rescue and have been doing this for several years, we have done this with our own money, we have gotten to the point where we have started to go public for help as we now have been helping more and need funding,” Wallis said.
“We also need to raise funds as there is over $800 in spay and neuter bills alone”
Some of the kittens that come from cats rescued are able to be adopted. The group holds occasional “showings” at Bosley’s downtown Chilliwack where visitors can get to know a kitten that’s being fostered and eventually adopted out.
Gidon was at Bosley’s this past Sunday with seven kittens that keen visitors got to meet and greet.
The fundraiser for ABC is Friday, March 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Corky’s Irish Pub. Tickets are $15 and include a cheeseburger and fries, and can be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org