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Cat Sanctuary Winter Defence Fund

Winter brings challenges to Cat Sanctuary

The RAPS Cat Sanctuary is the only one of its kind in Canada. There are other places that call themselves “sanctuaries,” but under the proper definition of the term … we’re it!

This means that animals who are deemed unlikely to ever find forever homes come to us to live out their lives. These might be health issues. We have a special colony for cats with feline immunodeficiency virus (feline AIDS) and another for those with leukemia. We have many diabetic cats who receive the insulin and other dietary and medical attentions they require. Our cats also have socialization issues that make them unadoptable. Some are feral and demonstrate little likelihood of being domesticated. Others are averse to litter boxes. One cat has a neurological disorder that means he can’t control his urinary function.

Almost anywhere else in the world, these cats would be euthanized.

Yet 500 of them live out their lives surrounded by love and care at our Sanctuary. This is because of the RAPS no-kill promise that is at the heart of everything we do.

But this promise costs money.

We have amazing partnerships that help us do small miracles on small budgets. Pet stores donate food that reduces the cost of feeding cats to pennies a day per animal.

But we have other expenses and wintertime is when a few of them really come to the fore.

Last winter, for instance, the heating system failed. This is an old system that seriously requires upgrading to improve efficiency and reliability. This year is forecast to be unusually cold. We need to prioritize this project.

Inclement weather also brings other surprises. Last winter, wind blew down a tree on the property, destroying one of our pens. Fortunately, no animals were harmed, but natural disasters can strike and we need to be proactive in maintaining our facility … hiring arborists to identify potential hazards and keeping our fencing, pens and other facilities secure in all types of weather. The roofing also needs attention.

The entryway to the Sanctuary is typical of rural farm areas. It is an uneven, partially dirt roadway. Staff and volunteers need access to the Sanctuary no matter what the weather – in fact, ensuring access in the worst conditions is even more important – and so we require snow-removal equipment and de-icing materials.

Keeping 500 cats healthy and happy year-round is a labour of love. But in winter it takes some extra effort. And this costs money. Will you help? Please contribute to the RAPS Cat Sanctuary Winter Defence Fund. Donate online today or call 604-285-7724.