SPCA deals with ‘mountain of kittens’

In animal welfare organizations, the huge influx of surrendered and abandoned kittens that begins in May and continues throughout the fall is commonly known as the “mountain of kittens.”

PEBBLES THE CAT and her remaining kitten are the only survivors after they

PEBBLES THE CAT and her remaining kitten are the only survivors after they

In animal welfare organizations, the huge influx of surrendered and abandoned kittens that begins in May and continues throughout the fall is commonly known as the “mountain of kittens.”

The Comox Valley SPCA has nearly 50 cats and kittens in care right now, many of whom are young orphan kittens that require a lot of care and attention.

Foster co-ordinator Joan Hine says it is overwhelming for staff and volunteers to deal with so many kittens on top of the demands of a full shelter, but they are managing with the help of foster homes.

While surrendered litters present a challenge for BC SPCA staff and volunteers, staff want to remind people that it is important for those wanting to surrender animals to meet with staff and provide background information.

“We want to be sure the animals receive the best care possible, and having accurate information about their background, age and health is very important,” said Hine. “When animals are abandoned or just dumped at the shelter door, it puts the animal’s health in jeopardy, and we lose the opportunity to gather the information necessary to rehome that animal.”

One such case occurred this week, when the morning staff person found a cardboard box taped up with electrical tape, sitting by the front door.

Inside the box, she discovered a shocking sight — a cat with two newborn kittens, another young cat and her kitten, amid soiled and bloodstained newspaper. Nobody knows how long the animals were trapped inside the box.

Staff rushed the animals into the shelter and provided immediate care, including treatment for terrible ear mites. Unfortunately, one of the newborn kittens died before the box was discovered.

“Someone just left the cats and kittens in a box outside when we were closed,” remarked Hine. “We urge people who feel they must surrender their animals to please do so in a responsible way so that we can all work together to give these animals the best possible chance to live a happy life.

“A donation is always requested at the time of surrender, but it is not a necessity. Even if we are full to capacity, we can always find a way to avoid this traumatic event.”

The BC SPCA Comox Valley and District Branch provides care and protection to hundreds of animals each year. Your gift can help give a homeless, injured or abused animal a second chance.

The BC SPCA is a non-profit organization funded primarily by public donations.

Its mission is to prevent cruelty and to promote the welfare of animals through a wide range of services, including cruelty investigations, emergency rescue and treatment, sheltering and adoption of homeless and abused animals, humane education, advocacy, farm animal welfare, spay/neuter programs, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.

— Comox Valley SPCA

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