A Shuswap animal rescue has had to close its doors to intakes for the time being as it helps high numbers of animals in need and vet bills pile up.
Shuswap Paws Rescue Society formed in 2018 and serves communities throughout the region, as well as Chase and anywhere else they are needed, said volunteer Siobhan Rich. With no paid staff,the volunteer organization helped over 300 animals in Sicamous alone in 2022 and Rich said this year has already been busier.
The rescue is currently closed for new intakes as they are operating over capacity, dealing with injured and sick animals and having maxed out foster home space.
Rich said Shuswap Paws is always in need of volunteers as well as donations of food, pet supplies and kennels. Most importantly, the rescue needs to fundraise to deal with the mounting vet bills every animal that comes into care requires.
“Every animal we take on needs to be vetted,” said Rich. “Some have bigger bills than others. Every animal is also given their vaccines, chip and are spayed or neutered. It is very hard to keep up.”
Rich told of just one of the injured animals the rescue is coping with right now.
A Shuswap Paws volunteer got a call about an injured cat in a field in May and took her son to check it out, said Rich. Once there, she said they found a severely injured black cat surrounded by people who were kicking and beating it. One child ran to get another adult’s help and Rich said at that point the young people dispersed, leaving the cat behind. The volunteer rushed the cat, named Toby, to an emergency vet.
Toby is now healing and will be placed for adoption once fully healthy, said Rich, but she was emotional explaining the rough start to the happy ending and said the vet bill for the cat is high.
Kitten season in the Shuswap is a busy time, said Rich, with foster homes flooded with cats and litters of kittens. Adoptable animals are featured on the Shuswap Paws Facebook page and a kitten adoption event is being held at Healthy Spot Pet Nutrition and Supply in Salmon Arm on June 16.
The rescue also collects bottles and cans as a fundraiser year round, and anyone with a donation can email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a pickup or donate directly.