Local animal advocates are calling for an end to the illegal abandonment of cats after a pregnant cat was found at the Moyie Transfer Station earlier this week.
Leslie Long is an independent animal rescue worker in Cranbrook. She has worked with various organizations in the past, such as Meant 2 B Loved in Cranbrook and Kimberley.
Long says she received a call from a gentleman on Monday after the man found a “very pregnant” cat while he was dumping his garbage.
“He said that a cat came out over the hill and was meowing, and was obviously pregnant,” Long explained. “This is the third cat that he has found there. The other two he kept, but he called me and explained that he definitely couldn’t keep a third, let alone one that’s pregnant.”
Long had planned to take the cat to the vet the next morning to get her checked out, when to Long’s surprise the cat gave birth that night.
“She’s doing fine, she had five kittens. It’s a bit of work to get them bonded with mom and make sure that they are all okay. They’ve all been checked out by the vet and are currently with a foster family,” Long said.
The six cats are also booked in for a second vet visit. The vet will give them vaccinations and spay/neuter the mom and kittens before they find their new homes.
Long is passionate about animals and says that she will never turn one away.
“People need to stop dumping these cats. It has been an ongoing problem for years now. I don’t care if you drop them on my doorstep — just don’t dump them,” Long said.
She adds that four cats have recently gone missing from one particular neighbourhood in Cranbrook.
“You know, it’s not necessarily the owners who are abandoning their cats — sometimes it might be a neighbour who doesn’t like the fact that there’s a cat in their garden bed…” Long said. “We rescued a cat from way up in the Hidden Valley area on a dirt road. We rescued one off of the highway. There have been multiple cats found under the post office in Yahk who have been pregnant or given birth.”
She says that she currently has a humane trap set up on 18th and 12th Ave, where there have been multiple reports from neighbours about a stray.
“There are so many local rescue organizations, there’s really no excuse for this,” Long said. “I’m sickened by what could have happened if this cat was left to give birth at the dump.”
Whether an owner can no longer take care of their animal, or a stray cat is found, Long advises that calling her or a local rescue is the best option.
“If you find a cat, or you have a cat you can no longer take care of I will take them in and find a home,” she said. “If they’re pregnant, if they have kittens, I don’t care. I will make sure they are taken care of.”
Long says you can reach her by phone at (250) 417-7803. You can also contact the BC SPCA, Meant 2 B Loved Pet Rescue Society, BARC’s rescue, the Kootenay Animal Assistance Program, or the myriad of other local rescue organizations.
The abandonment of cats is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Long says that there are spay/neuter programs through most of the local rescue organizations. Most are funded through donations and fundraisers.
“Every week I pick up bottles and cans from local restaurants and that helps to fund vet visits, surgeries, food and litter,” Long said, adding that the majority of the community is extremely supportive in this department. “Pet stores are always very generous and we receive numerous donations from the community.”
“It’s frustrating. Right now there are six cats that all need their shots, food, litter and need to be fixed,” said long. “Please, people, don’t dump or abandon these precious lives. Myself or other rescues will take them in.”
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