British Columbia

50 cats rescued in Richmond after strays inundate property of well-meaning resident

Thirty cats and 20 kittens will soon need new homes after they were rescued from the area around the home of one "well-intentioned" resident of Richmond, B.C.

Animal welfare organization says rescue comes at a tough financial time

A white kitten named Batman is one of 50 cats rescued from a Richmond neighbourhood earlier this week. (RAPS)

Thirty cats and 20 kittens will soon need new homes after they were rescued from the area around the home of one "well-intentioned" resident of Richmond, B.C.

The cats — including at least five pregnant females — were rescued on March 31 and in the first few days of April, and most are in good health, according to the Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS).

"It was a situation where a well-intentioned person was feeding stray cats but it got out of control and soon she was inundated and didn't know what to do. A family member alerted us," RAPS spokesperson Pat Johnson said in an email.

He said Richmond has almost no feral cats because of a trap and neuter program implemented by RAPS's predecessor 25 years ago, so this was a "back to our roots" rescue for the organization.

Some of the kittens have eye infections, but they're responding well to treatment, and almost all of the cats were infested with fleas, according to RAPS. The kittens are all being cared for in foster homes.

The adult cats will be available for adoption after they have been spayed and neutered, while the kittens will have to wait until they're at least eight weeks old.

"They are pretty shy, a little skittish," RAPS shelter manager Shena Novotny said in a press release.

"They're all very sweet, though. None of them are lashing out. It looks like they will all adjust well."

RAPS says the rescue has come at a difficult time. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant a loss of revenue, as RAPS thrift stores have had to close and the organization's cat sanctuary is no longer open to the public.

"We estimate the veterinary services and other individualized care to all of these kittens and cats will average $1,000 per animal," RAPS CEO Eyal Lichtmann said.

"We are really calling on our community to help us at this time. Revenues are down just as demand rises."

Adoption applications for the rescued cats are available online.

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