Abandoned kittens, unwanted tomcats, unknown communities or escapees… some cats are destined to a life of struggle, constantly searching for the basics: food and safety.

Recently, in cooperation with Pet Safe Coalition of Canada, the Crooked Leg Ranch team have been working to deal with the little known issue of wild cats.

The first task is to trap the cats and transport them safely to be spayed or neutered.  After that, a decision is made.  For kittens, the most favourable option is adoption.  If the cat is older but still able to live well, then a new home is sought.  Barns, in need of mousers, are excellent sites and some of the rescues are now safe and fed and working hard.  The final choice is for the cat to be returned to where it was trapped.  If this is done, the team ensures that there is someone willing to provide food, water and a safe shelter.

The first rescue operation was on a farm site where cats had been breeding unchecked.  Once this population was spayed, they were returned to the barn.  Another operation found cats at an industrial site, living amongst abandoned machinery or under buildings.  This community is quite large and has had over 20 rescues to date with more cats being monitored.

A rescue operation of this magnitude requires the cooperation and assistance of many.   The need is identified, traps are set, reluctant cats are transferred, surgery and recuperation takes time and finally a safe home is found.  More than ten people are involved with each rescue!  Dr. Bianca Scheidt and Dr. Laura Mowbray of the Animal Care Hospital and their staff, donated more than 12 hours, one Sunday, to spay/neuter cats from the feral community.   Of the original 17 cats rescued from this site, 9 have been adopted, 2 are pending and the other 6 are waiting for welcoming barns.   We would like to thank the foster families who have helped to provide safe shelter and socialization.  When ready, kittens and young cats that are eligible for adoption can be seen at Bosley’s Pet Store.  We also greatly appreciate Total Pet and Bosley’s for their continued donations of pet food.

Not including the value of volunteers, each cat costs a minimum of $50 to process – more if there are medical needs.  Funds are raised through bottle recycling, auctions, donation bins and other projects such as calendar sales.

If you know of any feral cats, please let the team know.  Building and placing insulated bin shelters will continue as long as there is a need.

Article by Liz-Anne Eyford and was first published in the Quesnel Cariboo Observer.

feral cat shelters

Shelters are well marked in the event of a heavy snowfall

feral kitten tracks

Feral kitten tracks

Volunteer and shelter

A volunteer maintaining a shelter site