In the throes of kitten season, a Shuswap animal rescue is overwhelmed and desperate for help.
Siobhan Rich, a volunteer with Shuswap Paws Animal Rescue, said this time of year, after kittens are born in the spring and have nowhere to go if born to stray cats or uninhabitable situations, is always a struggle.
The rescue, which is volunteer-run and depends on monetary donations and pick-ups of bottles and cans for return, has been closed for intakes except for emergencies since the spring. At this time, fosters with the rescue are taking care of close to 100 kittens and are getting calls daily about more.
“We spayed 29 kittens in three days,” said Rich. “We had to take them all down to Kamloops. But of that 29, we have homes set up for two of them.”
Although she said the Kamloops veterinary clinic is supportive and lets the rescue run a tab, and all local clinics also help whenever there is need, there comes a point when bills pile up and that’s no longer an option.
She told of six sick kittens found recently, one of which had to be kept in an incubator to stay alive. Another difficult story involved a litter of kittens thrown off a train bridge into the river.
“They would have died if we didn’t take them.”
“Our volunteers are incredible. They’re well-trained, and vets taught us how to put fluids in and things like that, but there are certain things you absolutely need a vet clinic for.”
Rich noted she usually fosters one animal or a small group at any given time herself, but she has had several groups at a time in her house to ease the load and all fosters have been dealing with a never-ending list of dependent animals.
“Spay and neuter your pets,” Rich stressed. “Stop breeding animals. Every rescue is overwhelmed, and with the economy right now, it’s all connected: trying to feed your family, there’s zero rentals, no affordable housing…”
Volunteers are busy driving animals to vet appointments and it’s hard to organize fundraisers, she added, so direct donations to email@example.com or bottle return donations, organized over email, are the most helpful. The rescue is on an emergency-only basis currently, meaning they can’t help with any surrender cases that don’t need immediate medical care.
The rescue will be hosting an adoption event Saturday, Aug. 19 from noon to 3 p.m. at Healthy Spot pet store in Salmon Arm.