EAST CENTRAL — The North East SPCA (NESPCA) has received a spike in cat drop-offs, leading to them caring for a total of 45 kitties at the Harry and Eve Vickar Shelter in Melfort.
Kristy Mason, the NESPCA’s shelter manager attributes the increase to the changing weather.
“It’s starting to get a little bit colder outside, so everybody that had stray cats that are just kind of hanging around they’re bringing them in for the winter,” Mason said. “It definitely blows up this time of year.”
Since the spike began, the shelter has begun asking the community for any donations of cat litter or food.
“My kennel attendants are phenomenal, they have their routine that they go through and get everybody looked after,” she said.
“I want to say every couple days we go through at least one bag of litter, and that’s with scooping litters every day twice a day. It boils down pretty fast.”
The shelter has the capacity to care for a maximum of 60 cats.
Mason ensured that despite the large number in their care, each of the playful felines is getting time in the kitty room to socialize and play with an assortment of toys.
“Each day they get to go out of their condos and spend the day roaming around the room, playing with each other. We get people to come in and play with them— they get lots of attention.”
Since putting out the request for supplies on Nov. 13, four of the cats have been adopted.
Dog-wise, Mason said their numbers are significantly lower than last year, with the shelter caring for six dogs.
“Last year we had two litters of puppies come in both at the same time and it was around this time of year,” she said. “I think it was all kind of timing related with the puppies, just having two large litters come in at the same time. This year we’ve been having the odd puppy, or a pair of puppies comes in.”
To raise money, the shelter has started a NESPCA clothing line, with apparel that can be purchased at the shelter including masks and shirts, as well as farmhouse signs.
A fundraising 50/50 draw is running until Nov. 30, with about $2,500 in the pot.
“We’re actually setting up some volunteer training programs that are mostly online, so people are trained and ready when they do volunteer— hopefully that will be launched soon.”