Abbotsford SPCA shelter overwhelmed with cats

Adoptions are not keeping up with the number of cats and kittens coming through the doors.

(From left) Bruce



Finding space for the cats and kittens that come through its doors is always a challenge for the SPCA, but the problem seems to be getting worse.

Jodi Dunlop, manager of the Abbotsford shelter, said the numbers have not been dropping, and adoptions are not keeping up with the demand.

“A lot of people think cats are disposable,” she said.

As an example, she referred to a particular day over a week ago when 20 cats were dropped off at the Abbotsford shelter. Two adult female cats, each with a litter of six, had been left behind at a home when the owners moved, and six cats from other circumstances were dropped off throughout that day.

In another situation, a “pet hoarder” abandoned 35 cats and kittens in her home, and they were rescued by the SPCA over a month ago.

The Abbotsford shelter has room for about 30 cats, and the rest are fostered out to volunteers or sent to other shelters in the Lower Mainland.

Some local pet stores also offer space for SPCA adoption services.

Contrary to the beliefs of some, the SPCA does not euthanize pets, except those that are gravely ill or highly aggressive, making adoption a crucial part of the solution.

Dunlop said the biggest issue with the influx of cats is that many people are still neglecting to spay and neuter them, despite ongoing public awareness messages to do so.

The owners then have difficulty getting rid of kittens, and they end up turning them over to the SPCA, or worse, abandon them on rural properties.

Most of the cats – about 70 per cent – are brought to the SPCA because they are strays, either intentionally abandoned or missing from their home. Some have been injured.

Because many of them do not have identification, such as an ear tattoo or a microchip, the SPCA is unable to track down their owners.

Dunlop said many people do not come looking for their missing cats at the SPCA, believing, for example, that they will return home in a few days or that they were killed by an animal or a car.

The SPCA only has to hold a pet for four days before it can be placed for adoption.

Dunlop said the remaining 30 per cent of cats are “owner surrendered” – people who no longer want or are capable of caring for their pet.

She said the SPCA currently has a list, dating back to July, of people in this situation who are waiting for the shelter to have space to take their cat.

So far this year, the Abbotsford shelter has had about 640 cats and kittens come through its doors.

Dunlop encourages anyone who is missing a cat to visit the Abbotsford shelter at 34312 Industrial Way or go online (where all the cats’ photos are posted) at http://www.spca.bc.ca/branches/Abbotsford/

Information about adoptions is also posted on the website.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Gone Country success means so much to cancer patient

Mother of three, recovering from breast cancer treatment, makes it to seventh annual charity concert

VIDEO: Rural Langley house saved from quick spreading brush fire

Dry weather helped fuel a blaze believed started by faulty farm equipment

A chance to dance with a legend

Langley City Summer Series presented tributes to famous performers

Langley – revving up for the cause

Two local cancer patients receive a bit of financial aid from a recent Langley charity car show

LETTER: Langley City’s MP defends Liberal pipeline purchase

MP John Aldag defends the federal government purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Most Read