On May 4, the Little Mittens Animal Rescue will be hosting a fundraiser to help them with their goal of controlling the feral cat population in Golden.
“In most communities within B.C. it’s a problem. But there is a solution, and that is trap, neuter, return,” said Dianne Slater. “The feral cats didn’t just appear. They’re not a wildlife species. They’re descended from domestic pets.”
Last year the Little Mittens Animal Rescue, started by Slater and Alannah Duffy, received a grant from Columbia Basin Trust to start implementing a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program.
“It’s not just the two of us. We have a wide circle of volunteers, and more joining up all the time. What’s really interesting to me is all the families who come out. Parents want their kids to see what we’re doing and to actually help,” said Slater.
Aside from the numerous volunteers, Little Mittens has a lawyer and an accountant who have offered their services for free, as well as the tremendously helpful John Janzen, who brings with him 30 years of experience with the SPCA.
“In the past year, we’re probably up to 130 kittens we’ve taken off the street and put into homes,” said Duffy. “Adult feral cats are a little more difficult. We’ve spayed and neutered about 40, and found homes for maybe 10.”
Slater and Duffy originally came together when they both became aware, individually, of a major problem in the lot beside Abbeyfield. The lot was a feral cat colony, and still is. But a large number of those cats were dying. So Slater and Duffy decided they had to do something.
“On a google search I ran across TNR, started to research it. And it has a worldwide reputation as being the only effective cat management program. And it has history of 20 years in North Vancouver,” said Slater. So the two of them started to implement it.
“We realized we couldn’t continue to fund it on our own Visas and Mastercards. So we got all kittens we could out of the Abbeyfield colony, and then the next year applied for a Columbia Basin Trust grant,” she continued.
The CBT grant helps Duffy and Slater spay, neuter and vaccinate these cats. But they’ve decided they don’t want rely solely on grants, so have a number of fundraising projects as well.
They do a bottle drive twice a year, sell baking, and have a donation jar at Sobeys.
“The problem isn’t going to go away. People are still dropping off their six-month pregnant cats because they don’t want to deal with kittens,” said Slater. That means that TNR will be a necessary program for a very long time.
Slater and Duffy are very grateful for all the community support they have received so far.
“It’s a community problem. So we’re dealing with it on a community level,” said Slater. “The community has just been tremendous in terms of recognizing that this is a problem, and has been for a lot of years.”
This is the second time that Little Mittens has brought Tim Hus to town for a fundraising show.
Tim Hus has been really great, he offers reduced rates for non-profit shows. We had a Tim Hus concert last year, and that actually paid to build a temporary shelter,” said Duffy.
The show in on May 4 at 9 p.m. Tickets are available in advance through any of Little Mittens’ volunteers or at the Mad Trapper. Tickets are also available at the door, but the show last year did reach capacity.