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RAPS’ Special Role

For cats with feline AIDS or leukemia, the future is uncertain. But at RAPS, these special needs cats receive the medical care and love they deserve.

By Janet Reid

RAPS Cat Sanctuary has always had a difficult time with calls from the public asking us to take cats that need to be re-homed or re-housed. It is a difficult decision that requires a lot of thinking. We have to ask why we are being asked to take this cat? Is the cat unadoptable? Is the cat peeing or pooing inappropriately? Is it an elderly cat that we know would be euthanized? These are the questions that must be asked every time someone calls, desperately looking for a place to house their cat.

One reason that we take on a cat is because it has feline leukemia or feline AIDS. So many rescue groups in this province trap cats and diligently test them for leukemia or AIDS and, unfortunately, some cats test positive. We appreciate that these groups do this, and try to help them. Therefore, we have taken in numerous cats that would have been euthanized because other agencies don’t have the facilities to keep them.

RAPS Cat Sanctuary has a dedicated AIDS and leukemia area. We have welcomed Dean from the Cowichan SPCA, where he would have been euthanized after testing positive for AIDS. We currently house three kittens that initially tested positive for leukemia and we are keeping them apart from the main cat population until they can be retested and possibly test negative, which sometimes happens. We have taken on cats from Happy Cat Haven that tested positive for AIDS and now we have been able to fulfill a commitment to them by taking in all of their cats as they wind down their rescue efforts. We have taken in many cats from TLC that tested positive for leukemia but still found forever homes. Our own RAPS-run City of Richmond Animal Shelter has transferred cats to the sanctuary when they tested positive for either of these conditions. That is why we can call ourselves a true, no-kill, organization!

It is very expensive to take in cats with a compromised immune system. Their end-of-life care is never easy. But we will continue to take care of these cats, and help owners who have nowhere else to turn, with the support of our wonderful donors and volunteers. Thank you, all of you!  


Thank you Michele Wright, Furry Friends Photography for the photo.