Okanagan Humane Society sees increase in calls after closure of SPCA branch in Vernon – Okanagan

Three abandoned cats, found in cages placed along a road in the North Okanagan, are available for adoption after being rescued.

The Okanagan Humane Society says a girl and her father were driving in Vernon when they spotted the three crates. Each contained a cat: a black and white female, a tabby male, and a male with long, matted white fur.

“It’s hard to say how long these helpless cats had been waiting to be rescued, but their cages were in disrepair, so it’s believed it had been a while,” said the Okanagan Humane Society, a volunteer group non-profit.

The cats were first brought to the BC SPCA in Vernon, but were turned away when the branch closed permanently on Nov. 17 due to safety concerns with the building.

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The cats were then brought to the Okanagan Humane Society, which has foster homes throughout the valley.

One of the crates contained a note stating that the black and white female “has a heart murmur.” Please take care of my cats.

All three cats were taken to a local veterinary clinic in Vernon and were vaccinated, dewormed and microchipped. The long-haired cat also got a haircut.

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It was discovered that all three issues had already been fixed.

“It’s something we’re seeing more and more in our communities: animals being abandoned, left behind or dumped,” said Romany Runnalls, volunteer president of the Okanagan Humane Society.

“Thankfully these animals were safely contained and were likely left behind by their owners to hopefully be found and cared for. We don’t know if they also tried to take them to the shelter (SPCA) that week.

The cats – now named Alex, Minnie and Scramble – are currently in a foster home in Kelowna, awaiting adoption.

At any given time, OHS says it will have between 100 and 200 animals in foster homes and has helped sterilize more than 27,000 animals since its founding in 1996.

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“Although we may never know their story, we suspect that their abandonment was the result of possible eviction or relocation and the inability to find housing for their family (including their animals), or other crisis,” Runnalls said.

“Unfortunately, this is becoming more and more common across the Valley, with an inflationary economy and a desperate shortage of housing. »

Runnalls noted that OHS helped save more than 1,500 local animals in 2022 – a record year – and 2023 is poised to do even more.

She added that the average cost per animal rescue approaches $400.

Additionally, Runnalls said it has only been a week since the SPCA shelter closed and OHS is already receiving more calls for help.

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“There is a huge gap in services in the North Okanagan that other (animal rescue groups) like OHS need to fill,” Runnalls said.

More information about the Okanagan Humane Society, including how to adopt or donate, is available online.

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