Now is the Time to Adopt a Fredericton SPCA Cat - Oct. 05, 2011
From Wednesday's The Daily Gleaner...
'Desperate times are calling for desperate measures at the Fredericton SPCA.
The local animal shelter is at capacity and kitten season is fast approaching, so it's holding a sale in hopes of finding pets their forever homes.
Every day the shelter has abandoned animals dropped off or it gets calls for help, said Margot Bird, executive director of the Fredericton SPCA.
Recently, a taped up box was found on the north side near the walking trail with the word "help" written on it. The box held three cats and five kittens.
Another example is a farmer who has had more than 20 kittens abandoned on his property and has turned to the shelter for help.
"We're continually seeing stray and abandoned cats and kittens, with and without their moms," said Bird. "Now kitten season is in effect again."
That means more kittens will be finding their way to the shelter, but there's no room.
"We're holding an adoption event. Now's the time to adopt a kitten or a cat," she said. "The biggest reason for us is we need to make room for the new litters that are going to be arriving. Otherwise, we have to turn them away, and that's something that we do not want to do."
For the month of October, kittens are $60 (regularly $150), puppies are $100 (regularly $200), adult cats are by donation with a minimum of $25 (regularly $85) and dogs are $100 (regularly $150).
Bird believes things are worse this year, noting people are coming in and saying they can't care for their animals anymore.
"There is another option I'd like the public to know about. If they cannot afford food, we can provide food for them," she said. "I'd much rather keep the animals in their loving homes with their families."
This isn't an open-ended offer, but the shelter can provide assistance to get owners through a rough period.
After all, it costs money to care for the animals in the Fredericton SPCA, where everything from food to veterinary care falls on the shelter.
"It's a stress on the shelter financially, where we're a non-profit organization, highly dependent on donations and our fundraising events," said Bird. "We're limited with our funds as well."
Normally it costs the shelter $75,000 a year in veterinary bills alone. This year, she expects it to be even higher.
Right now, the shelter is home to 188 cats and 13 dogs, with cages in the hallways, some fostered out to volunteers, eight at PetSmart and two at Animal Essentials. PetSmart and Animal Essentials are adoption satellites.
"We do not euthanize unless it's absolutely necessary for medical reasons and on the advice of a veterinarian," said Bird. "Any medical condition that is treatable, we will treat."
The community can help the Fredericton SPCA in a number of ways, the first being to spay and neuter their pets, said Annette James, operations manager with the shelter.
"That's No. 1, being responsible owners so we don't see the overpopulation of animals," said Bird. "None of the animals are allowed to leave here without being spayed or neutered."
If you're thinking about adopting an animal, be sure you're ready for the 10-15 year commitment involved, she said.
Another way to help is by volunteering. The shelter always needs volunteers, she said, especially those able to help with cleaning and feeding from 8-11 a.m.
Also, people are invited to help the shelter expand by voting for the Fredericton SPCA through the Aviva Community Fund. Winning would allow it to build the FSPCA Animal Wellness Centre. The link is www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf11925.
The non-profit organization will hold an adoption bonanza Oct. 13 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. at the shelter, 165 Hilton Rd.
To learn more about the Fredericton SPCA and how to help, call 459-1555, email email@example.com or visit www.frederictonspca.ca.'