Rescue organization in Stettler having to turn away homeless cats

A lack of foster homes and shortage of space, has forced a Stettler rescue organization to turn away homeless cats.

The Animal Haven Rescue League has temporarily frozen its intake of cats until more cats get adopted.

“We have a shortage of people fostering for us, and too many cats, who need to come in. Until more of our cats get adopted out, and more foster families are available, we can’t take anymore,” said Michelle Fisher, cat co-ordinator at the Animal Haven Rescue League.

Fisher said she has seen more cats who need families this year compared with previous years. However, she said, more people are paying attention to strays or litters that have been dumped on the side of the road and want to help.

“We get calls, Facebook messages, and emails almost every day,” she said.

Alberta Animal Services in Red Deer said the shortage of foster homes is throughout Central Alberta.

“This year alone, we have taken 620 cats into care. Right now, we have 63 cats that need homes,” said Erica Coomber, director of operations at Alberta Animal Services.

Coomber said this is the time of year when animal shelters become overpopulated.

“The cat situation is always tough, especially during the winter time, because it’s cold outside, and people are bringing more in then summer months,” said Coomber.

Fisher said the lack of cats being spayed or neutered is what’s causing the number of homeless cats. She said until people start realizing that, the problem won’t go away.

“There’s an over abundance of cats right now so people need to spay, or neuter their cats. All rescues, humane societies, and other shelters, (can) do it. They don’t adopt anything out that isn’t spayed, or neutered,” said Fisher.

Alberta Animal Services has adoption centres inside Petland stores in Red Deer, Calgary, Airdrie, and Edmonton, which has helped find new homes for their cats.

Coomber said she encourages any other shelters in the area dealing with space issues to reach out to her.

“They can call me, and I’d be happy to take some cats from them,” said Coomber.

Alberta Animal Services can be reached at 403-347-2388.

jonathan.guignard@bprda.wpengine.com