Kittten abandonment on the rise

Twenty-six kittens abandoned in boxes in the Shuswap area

A kitten found in Enderby was bottle fed by the BC SPCA.

A kitten found in Enderby was bottle fed by the BC SPCA.

Kittten abandonment is on the rise in the Shuswap.

With 26 kittens abandoned in boxes in the Shuswap area within less than a week, the BC SPCA is letting the public know that there is a much better option: surrendering any unexpected or unwanted animals to the BC SPCA, said a BC SPCA press release.

Two kittens were found by a Tim Hortons, near Walmart, dumpster last Friday, three-week-old kittens were found in two boxes in Enderby last Saturday, four kittens left on the top of a hiking trail (two of which are still missing), Shuswap SPCA staff are hoping to see an end to the sudden spike in kitten abandonment, the release said.

“We get boxed kittens all summer but this is just a spree of them,” Shuswap BC SPCA Branch animal care attendant Barb Gosselin, who notes the shelter helps manage the abandonment or surrender of litters with the help of foster guardians.

“We’re asking the public to please, come and surrender any unwanted animals to the BC SPCA – it’s important for us to get background information about the animals, like their age and health, in order to provide them with the best possible care,” said Gosselin.

The kittens are in good shape now, but Gosselin said when they were found, the kittens on Mt. Ida were starving.

The situation is not uncommon, with the SPCA getting boxes of abandoned kittens throughout the year, but Gosselin said it’s unusual that so many kittens have been found within the last week.

It’s better for the animals if people bring them to the SPCA, rather than abandoning them, she said.

“When kittens are abandoned or just dumped in a box somewhere, it puts the animals’ health in jeopardy, and we lose the opportunity to gather the information necessary to rehome that animal. We urge people who feel they must surrender their animals to please do so in a responsible way so that we can all work together to give these animals the best possible chance to live a happy life.”

The best thing to do to prevent these instances from occurring is to spay/neuter your pet.

She recommended the Kamloops Spay Neuter Clinic which has low rates.

Foster guardians for animals are always needed at the SPCA, and Gosselin encourages anyone thinking of becoming a foster fur-parent to contact the branch today.

With the abundance of felines across the province, the BC SPCA is hoping an upcoming adoption promotion, presented by Hill’s Science Diet, will encourage British Columbians to consider adopting an adult cat companion – or even two.

“We’ve currently got more than 1,700 cats and kittens (in B.C.) in foster care and in our shelters, with more waiting to come in each day,” said BC SPCA director of regional operations Jane Talbot.

From Oct. 1 to 14, all BC SPCA branches are offering 50 per cent off the usual adoption fees for all adult cats.

“Kittens are always in high demand, but the goal during this event is to find fantastic homes for as many felines as possible,” Talbot said.

Adopting an adult cat instead of a kitten has many benefits, she notes, as they’re calmer and more settled, litter trained, fully grown and their personalities are already developed, so potential adopters know exactly what they’re getting.

Each year, the BC SPCA rescues more than 15,000 cats and kittens. To adopt an adult cat this weekend, visit your local BC SPCA branch during business hours, or visit spca.bc.ca/adopt to search for adoptable cats.