Collaboration vital to controlling cat population

On August 5, 2017, Regina Cat Rescue (RCR) announced an intake freeze which remains in effect until further notice. This was a difficult decision during a busy rescue season when so many cats are in need, but RCR is run entirely by volunteers and every individual cat rescued requires many volunteer hours.

From picking up and trapping cats, coordinating foster care and veterinary visits, home visits to vaccinate and provide anti-parasitic treatments, running cats to and from their spay and neuter appointments, photographers ensuring each cat has photos for their adoption profiles, writing adoption profiles and publishing them on this website, posting cats on social media, and fundraising to ensure all rescue-related expenses can be paid - rescuing even one cat can take dozens of hours. So far in 2017 RCR has rescued over 240 cats and kittens in need.

RCR volunteers are passionate about animal rescue, but can only help so many cats on their own before they face burn out and resources are depleted. But there is a solution to help RCR control the cat overpopulation crisis in Regina - collaboration!

What does collaboration look like? Essentially, collaboration means being ready and willing to work with RCR to achieve a good outcome for the cat you want to be rescued.

It looks like a business donating funds for their "shop" cats to be sterilized by RCR; an individual providing foster care for a stray cat hanging out in their back alley; ensuring un-owned cats in your neighbourhood are spayed and neutered; donating funds to cover veterinary care for sick and injured animals; being willing to hold a cat in your bathroom or spare bedroom overnight;  and so much more.

We have two great examples - one from a business and another from individuals - who worked collaboratively with RCR to help demonstrate how effective collaboration can be.

Skittles & Oreo
These two neonatal kittens were just a few days old when they were abandoned by their mother. Unsure of what to do, Rhonda and Rob contacted RCR for help. But in this very busy season, RCR was struggling to find an available volunteer bottle feeder to take on the orphaned siblings. That's when Rhonda and Rob offered to take on the task of caring for Skittles and Oreo. RCR was able to provide support like advice on feeding and stimulation, supplies like formula and syringes and veterinary care, while Rhonda and Rob took on the responsibility of feeding, burping and stimulating the babies every two to three hours until the kittens can do it on their own. In the coming weeks, RCR will provide anti-parasitic treatment, vaccinations and sterilization surgeries, while Rhonda and Rob continue to provide the love and care of a foster home. By working together, Rhonda, Rob and RCR were able to secure the best possible future for kittens who would have perished without human intervention.

Skittles

Oreo

 Mercedes, Benz, Titan & Otto just a few days after they were rescued

Mercedes, Benz, Titan & Otto just a few days after they were rescued

The Mercedes Benz/ TitanAutomotive Cats
RCR received an urgent call for help in May when the staff at a local car dealership discovered a litter of kittens in their recycling bin, hungry and screaming for food. This wasn't a big surprise as the dealership is home to several community cats, but with no mom in sight, they were desperate to save the kittens. Luckily, a kind RCR foster mom works at the dealership and volunteered to take on their care, taking the kittens to work daily to keep up with bottle feeding the babies and ensuring they got lots of love and attention.

While the team was happy to have the kittens safe and on their way to the good life, they remained concerned about the adult cats. They were happy to provide food, water and shelter to the cats and continue to care for them on site, but they weren't in the market for more. That's where the RCR Community Cat Team came in! They easily trapped the cats so they could be sterilized and returned to the only home they know.

This is a great example of a win-win situation in which RCR partnered with a community business for a positive outcome:  the kittens are safe, the adult cats are sterilized and the local business assisted in raising funds for the sterilizations to prevent overpopulation.

Cat overpopulation is truly a community problem and only by working together can we achieve a solution. So the next time you have a cat or kitten who needs rescuing, please consider the ways you can work with RCR to help.

- Rachel & Alanna