Despite dedicating an enormous amount of time to Little Mittens, founder Alannah Knapp is actually more of a dog person.
“Everyone says ‘you must love cats’ but actually my dogs are my life,” Knapp laughed.
Still, Knapp has grown to love cats as well, and it’s a good thing, because they’ve become a huge part of her life.
Knapp, who moved to Golden from Ontario, started Little Mittens along with friend Diane Slater, in the spring of 2011 after noticing an ever growing population of feral cats around Golden and Area A. Knapp works at the Northern Lights Wildlife Centre in the Blaeberry Valley, and felt the need to do something about the number of feral cats she saw on her drive to work.
“Everywhere you walked there were cats in ditches and people were dropping kittens off in the Blaeberry,” Knapp explained. “You could see kittens being dropped off everywhere basically.”
Through both rescues and spay and neuter programs, Knapp has noticed a difference in the number of feral cats over the past few years, and believes this most recent year has been the organization’s best, with intake numbers that are significantly lower than in the past.
“Our numbers are way way down. We had 87 kittens last year at this time, and we have about 15 or so right now. This is the first year we’ve noticed a big difference and I think the spay and neuter program had a lot to do with it,” Knapp said.
Little Mittens began out of Slater’s basement, but now occupies a small shelter near the airport, given to the organization by the Town. They’re hoping to expand on that space in the fall by adding a quarantine area in order to better deal with sick cats, as well as a more public-friendly adoption space.
Naturally, fundraising is a factor in determining Little Mittens’ future growth, and they’ll be hosting a couple events next weekend to help finance their renovations. On Sept. 12, Tim Hus will be performing at Mad Trapper Pub and the next morning, beginning at 10 a.m., Little Mittens will host a garage sale at the CP parking lot.
Donations are being accepted for the garage sale up until the morning of the event. Contact Little Mittens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-939-8085 in order to arrange a donation.
For Knapp, Little Mittens remains a serious passion for her, one that she dedicates a lot of her own money and a good chunk of her spare time to.
“It’s pretty much a full-time job…but this isn’t going to stop. I’ll never stop doing this,” she said.