Cats might not like the rain, but a few dozen cat lovers turned out in very inclement weather this weekend to show their support for a Langley shelter dedicated to the felines.
Canadian Animal Rescue & Extended Shelter (CARES) held its 15th annual walkathon on Sunday at Derby Reach Regional Park, with a goal of raising more money than last year.
Well, according to spokesman Clive Ellis, this quest was achieved.
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Last year’s event raised about $11,000, and even before all the 30-plus walkers returned from their trek around the rural North Langley park, Ellis was able to confirm that more than $10,000 in donations had come in – with promises of a few thousand more to come.
There were between 60 and 70 people registered to participate in the weekend walk, but only about half turned up, Ellis said, blaming the weather. Thankfully, he added, most no-shows will still be submitting pledges and donations in the coming days that will help boost the tally.
The cat shelter operates on a budget of about $200,000 a year, with half of that going towards veterinary costs and about $40,000 going to food, he explained.
That’s why events like the walkathon are so imperative to CARES, Ellis said, noting pledges and donations can still be made online or at the shelter over the next few weeks.
But for those unable to assist CARES financially, he emphasized there is also a desperate need for volunteers.
“We always need people for kitty kissing, people who can administer meds, those who could assist with cleaning, property maintenance, and landscaping.”
But the greatest need, at present, he said is for foster families.
With the shelter at full capacity with 95 cats and kittens in care, they’re also maxed out on the foster front. There are another 60 cats being cared for by 15 foster families.
CARES typically finds homes for about 50 to 60 cats and kittens a month, but with an average of 55 new cats coming into the shelter each month, the numbers never seem to go down. Ellis said.
“We’re absolutely full,” he added. “We are literally at our capacity at the moment.”
To find out more about CARES, people can visit the website at www.carescatshelter.com or visit the next adoption event happening this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15 and 16 at PetSmart Langley.