Nearly 20 cats came to Grand Forks’ cat shelter this week, pointing to a serious problem with feral colonies in Grand Forks and the West Boundary, according to a cruelty investigation officer at the BC SPCA.
The cats came from a feral colony on a rural property in Midway, where Village staff said animal control bylaws limit pet owners to six cats and four dogs.
Speaking outside the Boundary Helping Hands Feline Rescue Society’s (Helping Hands) 2nd Street headquarters Wednesday afternoon, May 26, SPCA Provincial Cst. Daniel Chapman said feral colonies are difficult to manage when people don’t spay and neuter their cats.
“It’s quite a big issue at this point in time,” he said, adding, “There are people out there with big hearts, who want to feed and care for (feral cats), but without spaying and neutering, these numbers tend to get out of control very quickly.”
He’d come to the shelter at the invitation of president Kimberly Feeny, who said Helping Hands was close to full capacity when the Midway rescues came in. Chapman left with 10 cats — five kittens and five adults — bound for the SPCA clinic in Penticton.
The cats will soon up for adoption, he said.
Feeny said Helping Hands volunteers are now eagerly caring for the other seven cats who came from the Midway colony.
“My hope for these cats is that we can get them more socialized, because some of them are a little scared.” They’ll make “great mousers” once they’re ready for adoption by fur-ever families in the Boundary, she added.
Feeny said Helping Hands is currently sheltering around 35 cats, with around 20 more in temporary foster homes in Grand Forks and the surrounding area.
Helping Hands is raising funds for shelter operations by throwing a yard sale at 6932 2nd Street from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, May 28.