RAPS in the Media

Burnaby resident appears in popular animal rescue TV show


Margaret Leathley’s cats were always the apple of her eye.

That love led the Burnaby-raised Leathley to the not-for-profit Regional Animal Protection Society cat sanctuary years ago as a volunteer, and most recently, gained her a spot in a popular TV show, Pets & Pickers.

The second season of the docuseries, Pets & Pickers, is being aired on Animal Planet.

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White Rock producer finds winning formula with Pets & Pickers


The term win-win may be over-used – but for White Rock born-and-raised television producer Tyson Hepburn it’s the most accurate description of his brainchild series Pets & Pickers.

The Earl Marriott grad’s inspiration has been to combine two of documentary TV’s most potent audience-generating genres – shows about people helping animals and shows about ‘pickers’ finding unexpected treasures among the contents of abandoned storage lockers – in one.

Popular Animal Planet show returns for a second season.

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Woman from Nanaimo stars in animal hospital reality TV show


Cat sanctuary manager Shena Novotny featured on second season of Animal Planet’s Pets and Pickers

A Nanaimo woman is featured on TV screens for Animal Planet’s Pets and Pickers.

Shena Novotny has been working at the Regional Animal Protections Society in Richmond since 2016. She’s the manager of the cat sanctuary and the adoption centre at the non-profit animal hospital that’s being featured in the reality series.

The second season is set to air on Animal Planet starting Saturday, May 6 at 5 p.m. Pacific Time.

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Abbotsford woman’s work at Richmond pet hospital gets her spot on TV show


Pets & Pickers on Animal Planet kicked off second season this weekend

When Alisa Verwoerd was a teenager, her cat Buddy had to spend a week in the care of an Abbotsford veterinarian.

It was in that week, while she was treated with care and dignity as a pet owner, that she decided to go into the business of animals. She was already an animal lover — Buddy had been adopted as an adult cat into her family through the SPCA.

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Korean government delegation visits Richmond animal rescue


Korean government delegation visits Richmond animal rescue

A delegation from a local government in Korea recently paid a visit to Richmond’s Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) to learn about their animal welfare practices.

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College and Regional Animal Protection Society team up to rehome feral cats


The College of the Rockies will start working with the Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) to rehome 14 feral cats living on the Cranbrook campus.

College officials said the RAPS Cat Sanctuary is situated on three acres where about 400 cats, with most being formerly homeless or feral, live together in a clean environment.

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RAPS thrift store unable to reopen in time for Halloween


The Richmond-based charity’s thrift store has been closed since early September.

Plans to re-open Richmond’s animal charity thrift store in time for Halloween were nixed when it became clear an engineer’s report would not be ready.

“It was a huge disappointment,” said Pat Johnson, communications manager for The Regional Animal Protection Society.

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Pets should be recognized as family, said B.C. animal lawyer and Richmond rescue


‘Awful’ pet custody battle has taken a ‘mental toll’ and ‘physical toll,’ said owner.

B.C. is looking into modernizing the Family Law Act (FLA), and animal activists are hoping the law will recognize pets as family.

Animal law lawyer Rebeka Breder, who sits on the board of Regional Animal Protection (RAPS) based in Richmond, and who founded the first animal law firm of its kind in Western Canada, hopes B.C. will lead the way in Canada by recognizing pets as family.

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Car crashes into animal rescue thrift store in Richmond


The Richmond Animal Protection Society is appealing for financial support from the public after a car crashed into its thrift store — taking its key source of revenue out of commission.

The crash happened Saturday when the driver of a red vehicle lost control and collided with the store. Luckily no one inside the store was hurt, but shelves came crashing down and merchandise went flying inside the store.

The only person hurt was the driver.

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Animal charity asks for help after car crashes into thrift store


No one was hurt inside the Francis Road store, but items went flying when the car drove through the wall.

The Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) is calling on animal allies for support after a single-vehicle accident Saturday resulted in extensive damage to one of the organization’s two thrift stores.

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Giving Away to Give Back: Fundraiser benefits homeless cats and dogs


Month long giveaway fundraiser launched Aug. 15 provides opportunity to win one of four prizepacks.

B.C.’s Regional Animal Protection Society is teaming up with Chilliwack-based pet food company, Petcurean, for a month-long fundraiser for homeless cats and dogs.

The fundraising giveaway campaign launched on social media on Aug. 16 and will run through to Sept. 6.

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Richmond job fair offers opportunities for those with disabilities


Richmond Centre for Disability (RCD) is highlighting the importance of job opportunities for people with disabilities and a local store manager could not agree more.

Karen Kamachi, manager of RAPS Thrift Store, said the job fair is not only a chance for people with disabilities to find a job to gain work experience and other skills, it also helps build their confidence in the real world.

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Inside Metro Vancouver's feral cat sanctuary


Ever wondered what happens to feral cats?

The Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) was founded in the 1980s to rescue and re-home stray cats in Richmond. 

RAPS now operates one of the largest cat sanctuaries in North America, in addition to the full-service RAPS Animal Hospital. 

The sanctuary is home to over 500 cats and kittens and is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. 

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Pet Valu Launches Pet Appreciation Month


Month-long “Companions for Change” event supports over 500 animal shelters and animal charities across Canada

Pet Valu Holdings Ltd., the leading Canadian specialty retailer of pet food and pet-related supplies, today, begins Pet Appreciation Month, its biggest, annual “Companions for Change™” initiative. For the month of June, over 600 stores in the Pet Valu family will be raising funds for Canadian animal organizations that provide critical support to local animals in need. On June 18 and 19, many stores will host National Adoption Weekend to help find the right forever homes for homeless pets in their communities.

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Discovery Channel to highlight work done by local animal hospital


The RAPS cat sanctuary is a one-of-a-kind facility in Canada

Discovery Channel has a new TV series called Pets and Pickers highlighting the work done by the Richmond-based Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) on May 10 in an advance, fundraising screening before the series makes its on-air debut May 12.

Come for the paw-ty, stay for the purr.

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Animal-focused 'Pets & Pickers' TV series features Surrey woman who runs RAPS thrift stores


The animal hospital’s low-cost veterinary care is funded by the sale of donated items

Karen Kamachi never dreamed that managing a thrift store would lead to her appearance on a TV series.

“It’s not what I expected out of my job,” said the North Surrey resident, who is featured in Discovery Channel’s new “Pets & Pickers,” a docu-series that follows a unique animal hospital in Richmond and two thrift stores that help fund its operation.

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Canada's only cat sanctuary reopens in Metro Vancouver


Canada’s only cat sanctuary is reopening to the public this weekend in Metro Vancouver, and it’s an excellent opportunity to meet a new fur-end.

Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) Cat Sanctuary is welcoming back guests to its Richmond haven starting on Saturday, April 30, and every weekend after.

The sanctuary was closed for two years due to the pandemic. RAPS CEO Eyal Lichtmann told Daily Hive that he is excited to open its doors to feline fans again.

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"There was crap everywhere": Suspect carries away safe in charity thrift store robbery

DAILY HIVE - Feb 11 2022

A Richmond thrift store that donates its proceeds to help sick animals was robbed of all its cash, leaving vulnerable employees and critters in a risky situation.

Karen Kamachi, store manager for the RAPS Granville Avenue location, says her assistant manager called her in a panic when she came into work on February 9.

“The door was wide open. At that point she called me panicking, saying, ‘Karen, you have to run over here. We’ve been robbed,’” she said.


Estate Planning Includes Pets


Ensure Companion Animals are Part of the Plan

At the heart of estate planning is caring for people — self-care, in the form of establishing your directives, and leaving provisions for the people you love.

For two out of three Canadians – who include a companion animal among their loved ones – planning for their well-being when we are no longer able to care for them should also be part of the planning process.

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Letters: Richmond animal charity balances business and care


RAPS CEO bites back at allegations of putting profit ahead of animal welfare

Dear Editor, Re: “Animal contract takes us back 13 years,” Letters, Dec. 10.

It has been an honour for the Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) to operate the City of Richmond Animal Shelter since 2007. We made Richmond a “no-kill community” and we are immensely proud of the lives we have saved and improved over the past 13 years.

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Giving Tuesday: Richmond animal charity offering free veterinary care

Richmond News

In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, a Richmond-based animal welfare charity will choose a worthy recipient every Friday in December to receive 100 per cent subsidized in-hospital care to pets whose families are affected by hardships due to COVID-19.

Thanks to a generous donation, the Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) is able to fully subsidize in-house veterinary services for four very needy pets during the month of December at its animal hospital.

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Opinion: Donate to a cause instead of giving a gift this year

Daily Hive: Opinion

It’s that time of year again. The holiday season. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years, etc.

The ever-lasting question of “what should I get for that special someone” and yes, that not so special someone too. Let’s face it, we all have them.

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Blossom blooming after rescue from neglect

Richmond Sentinel

Good Samaritans found Blossom running loose around No. 6 and Blundell roads one evening in September and brought her to the RAPS city shelter. The German shepherd-lab mix was in horrible condition and very underweight. She was suffering from terrible mange, most of her hair was missing except on her back, head and neck. She had scabs all over her body, she was bleeding in a number of places and she kept chewing her skin because she was so itchy. She had all sorts of fluids discharging from her skin. And she smelled horrible.

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Three dogs, 12 cats found abandoned in Richmond home

CTV News

RICHMOND, B.C. — Numerous animals are now in the care of the Regional Animal Protection Society after being found abandoned and living among urine and feces in a home in Richmond.

A neighbour called RCMP on Friday night when they heard barking for several hours and had concerns for the welfare of the animals.

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10 animals saved from squalor in Richmond

Richmond (News 1130)

A Cats, kittens, and dogs were rescued from squalid conditions at a Richmond home Friday, after neighbours reported their guardian has been unable to get back to Canada since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The animals, 10 in total, were taken by the Regional Animal Protection Society, which is now caring for them.

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Neglected pets seized from Richmond home were abandoned at start of pandemic

Richmond News

Ten animals were taken away from a Richmond home after a “horrific” case of animal neglect.

The Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) seized six cats, two kittens and two small poodle-like dogs from the home on Williams Road on Saturday.

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10 animals seized from B.C. home after owners left before COVID-19 pandemic


Animal welfare officials seized 10 animals on Saturday in a case of shocking animal neglect in Richmond, B.C.

Eight cats and two dogs were seized from a home on Williams Road.

The owners had left the country before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and handed their pets’ care to friends or family.

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Video: RAPS kitten camera goes live

Richmond News

A Richmond-based animal society has set-up a livestream video of how their kittens are spending their days after being rescued.

On Sunday evening, the Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) started at Facebook live “kitten camera” to share with the community.

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Richmond animal charity calls for help caring for kittens

Richmond News

A Richmond-based animal charity is asking the public to dig deep after rescuing dozens of kittens and cats from a hoarding situation.

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50 cats rescued in Richmond after strays inundate property of well-meaning resident

CBC News

Animal welfare organization says rescue comes at a tough financial time

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COVID-19: B.C. agencies take steps to protect animals during pandemic

The Province

The B.C. SPCA will limit public access while the Regional Animal Protection Society will offer no-interest plans for pet owners facing financial challenges.

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B.C. has Canada’s first hyperbaric chamber for pets

Global News

It might sound like over-indulgence, but veterinarians are taking a very serious look at Canada’s first hyperbaric chamber for pets, in Richmond.

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Homeless veteran needs help for dog injured in crash on way to food bank

Daily Hive

After a serious car crash on the way to a Richmond food bank last week, a veteran is waiting to find out what his best friend’s future is going to look like.

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'It scares me, but I do have hope': Coast Guard veteran hopes to save paralyzed dog

CTV News

A homeless veteran of the Canadian Coast Guard is pleading for help after being involved in a serious car accident along with his dog, Rocky.

Gregory Wright and his terrier were on their way to a food bank last week when the accident happened.

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‘He’s my rock’: Plea for donations to help Metro Vancouver homeless veteran’s support dog

Vancouver is Awesome

Meet Rocky, he’s an eight-year-old Staffordshire terrier with big brown eyes that will melt your heart.

He is also a support dog for a Metro Vancouver veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and currently homeless, living in an RV, after being renovicted.

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RAPS needing help to save homeless Richmond man’s dog


The no-kill charity that runs Richmond’s animal shelter is asking for the public’s help after a homeless man’s beloved dog was badly hurt in a car accident.

The Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) stepped in to help Greg Wright, who was involved in a rollover crash just south of the Massey Tunnel last week, along with his dog, an eight-year-old Staffordshire terrier called Rocky.

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Sundays are for cat snuggles

Daily Hive Vancouver

DailyHive-CatSanctuaryIf you can’t get enough of cats you’re going to want to pay a visit to Canada’s only cat sanctuary located right here in Metro Vancouver.


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Groups tell Rental Housing Task Force to end ‘no pets’ policies in B.C.


RAPS and Pets OK BC are calling on the province to end “no pets” policies that pose challenges for renters in a market with a vacancy rate that is less than one per cent.

Both groups made submissions to the province’s Rental Housing Task Force established in April by B.C. Premier John Horgan and led by Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, who will serve as the premier’s advisor on residential tenancy.

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You can visit over 500 felines at Canada’s only cat sanctuary in Vancouver


If you can’t get enough of cats you’re going to want to pay a visit to Canada’s only cat sanctuary located right here in Metro Vancouver.

Richmond’s Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) a non-profit, no-kill animal services agency runs the cat sanctuary, which houses over 500 cats.

The cat sanctuary serves as a home for cats that are not the best candidates for adoption.

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Dozens of rabbits to be euthanized at Richmond Animal Shelter after RHD infection


CBC-RHD-SpreadAn outbreak of rabbit hemorrhagic disease, which is highly contagious, has hit the Richmond facility

An outbreak of the highly contagious airborne virus, rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD), has spread to the Richmond Animal Shelter, forcing officials to euthanize the no-kill shelter’s entire population of rabbits.

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Rabbits ordered killed at B.C. shelter after deadly virus detected


CTV-RHD-SpreadAn animal shelter in Richmond, B.C., has been advised to euthanize all 66 rabbits in its care after confirmation that several animals have tested positive for rabbit hemorrhagic disease.

The virus can cause death within hours and the Regional Animal Protection Society, which operates the Richmond Animal Shelter, says it was likely introduced by infected feral rabbits that were found dead on the property.

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Richmond animal charity forced to cull its rabbits due to virus outbreak


Richmond animal charity forced to cull its rabbits due to virus outbreak

The Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) – which prides itself on its no-kill policy – has been told by the Ministry of Agriculture to euthanize the remaining 66 rabbits in its care, after the highly contagious rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD) struck its No. 5 Road shelter last week.

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Other Stories:

New Richmond animal hospital officially opens (VANCOUVER SUN – 02/12/2018)

Regional Animal Protection Society opens new veterinary hospital (CTV NEWS – 02/12/2018)

RAPS opens new animal hospital in Richmond (RICHMOND NEWS – 02/13/2018)

New animal hospital gets large loan (RICHMOND NEWS – 08/03/2017)

RAPS name change is official (RICHMOND NEWS – 06/23/2017)

Shelter honours ‘hero’ who rescued dog in suitcase (CTV NEWS – 06/08/2017)

Mini Donut ready for a new home in Richmond (RICHMOND NEWS – 06/08/2017)

Man Sees Suitcase In The Woods — And Finds The Friendliest Dog Locked Inside (THE DODO – 06/02/2017)

Abandoned kitten found inside diaper box in Richmond (DAILY HIVE – 06/01/2017)

Richmond rescue shelter pleads with pet owners not to abandon animals after 2nd discovery in 2 days (CBC NEWS – 05/31/2017)

Tiny poodle found ‘cruelly’ dumped in locked suitcase in Richmond (DAILY HIVE – 05/30/2017)

Poodle ‘In Good Health’ After Found Locked Inside Discarded Suitcase (HUFFPOST – 05/30/2017)

Little dog found in double-locked suitcase on hottest day of year (RICHMOND NEWS – 05/30/2017)

Cute poodle found dumped in locked suitcase on hottest day of the year (USA TODAY – 05/30/2017)

Little dog found in double-locked suitcase on hottest day of year (RICHMOND NEWS – 05/30/2017)

Poodle found abandoned inside locked suitcase (CTV NEWS – 05/30/2017)

Poodle found locked in suitcase, abandoned in Richmond woods (VANCOUVER SUN – 05/29/2017) 

Dog Found Locked In Suitcase And Dumped In Ditch In Richmond, B.C. (HUFFPOST – 05/29/2017)

SPCA and RCMP investigating after dog found locked in suitcase in Richmond (GLOBAL NEWS – 05/29/2017)

CBC Vancouver – Meow! (CBC VANCOUVER – 05/27/2917)

Proposed animal hospital to help fund animal care (RICHMOND NEWS – 04/27/2017)

B.C.-based dog whisperer to rehab Great Dane rescued by 9/11 first responder (VANCOUVER SUN – 03/05/2017)

Dog burned in Richmond fire healing, but needs months of care (CTV NEWS – 01/13/2017)

‘Definitely a fighter’: Protection society raising money for dog injured in fire (CTV NEWS – 01/05/2017)

Update: Burned pit-bull getting better (RICHMOND NEWS – 01/03/2017)

Pit bull burned in fire needs your help to survive (GLOBAL NEWS – 12/30/2016)

Richmond animal shelter launches appeal to help burned dog (RICHMOND NEWS – 12/28/2016)

Rabbit rescuers to the rescue in Richmond (RICHMOND NEWS – 03/17/2016)

Growing pains: Richmond Animal Shelter Taking Leap of Faith into the Future (RICHMOND NEWS – 01/07/2016)

Operating daily in Richmond’s no-kill zone (RICHMOND NEWS – 04/22/2015)

Tales of starvation and neglect prompt Richmond to consider new rules to prohibit pet dumping (VANCOUVER SUN – 2015)

50 dogs abandoned at Metro Vancouver animal shelters (VANCOUVER SUN – 2015)