One of RAPS’ stated purposes is to reach out to the community through education in the care and humane treatment of animals. On a daily basis, we offer one-to-one counseling on pet nutrition, litter training problems and any other situational problem that pet owners may have with their companion animals. There are many useful and informative publications on animal care available at the Richmond City Shelter and on RAPS’ website.
Another core mandate of RAPS is to raise public awareness about the importance of spaying and neutering to decrease the number of unwanted cats, dogs and rabbits in our community. To this end, RAPS provides access to low-cost spay and neuter services to those in need.
RAPS plays a critical and continuous role in re-uniting lost pets with their owners and through delivering humane traps and detailed counseling. To keep the stray cat population under control, RAPS traps stray cats in Richmond and RAPS’ staff advise non-Richmond residents of similar services offered by animal care organizations in their own communities.
In 2005, RAPS (then called Richmond Homeless Cats) helped put in place a bylaw mandating the spaying and neutering of cats. In February 2010, RAPS was instrumental in bringing about a Richmond City Bylaw that banned the sale of rabbits in pet stores. It is expected that this bylaw will greatly reduce Richmond’s rabbit over-population problem, which is largely the result of impulsively purchased rabbits that are later abandoned in parks and fields. In November 2010, Richmond City Council banned the sale of dogs and puppies in Richmond pet stores. Again, RAPS was one of the major proponents of this significant decision, the first of its kind in Canada. It is anticipated that this bylaw will prevent impulse purchases of dogs, which are then so often surrendered to shelters or abandoned once their cute puppy stage has passed.