Cowichan Cat Rescue is taking over the work of Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society after the society announced it closed its doors for good in January. (Gazette file)

Cowichan Cat Rescue is taking over the work of Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society after the society announced it closed its doors for good in January. (Gazette file)

Cowichan Cat Rescue needs your empties and your time

After taking over from the Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society which, in January, closed its doors after 13 years, Cowichan Cat Rescue needs volunteers in the Lake Cowichan area.

It’s a bit of a return to its roots for CCR.

“People might not remember but before LCARS was created Cowichan Cat Rescue did cover that area,” recalled Jean Hamilton, CCR’s managing trustee. “We were much smaller in those days but we always covered the area with our low cost program and continued to help with ferals for a number of year. We are hoping that with the addition of a few volunteers in that community we will have a seamless transition.”

Since LCARS has closed its doors, CCR is expanding its programs to Lake Cowichan and environs including Youbou, Honeymoon Bay, and Mesachie Lake.

“We will want a couple of people who can foster. We would love to have a couple of people who can use a trap or are willing to learn,” Hamilton said. “Someone who can transport cats back and forth for Duncan vet appointments would be extremely helpful, and a few people who could step up and become colony feeders should the need arise would be a life saver.”

A luxury, Hamilton said, would be a volunteer to help with fundraising in the community, since most of CCR’s active volunteers live at the south end of the Valley “and that is a wicked drive,” she added.

She knows it’s a lot to ask, but it’s also a lot of ground to cover and there’s a lot of work to be done.

“We are not able to jump in and work fast, which is our preferred model, due to the continuing effects of the COVID-19 crisis,” she admitted. “We are expecting a tough year again this year, with all the cats we are not able to get fixed quickly producing a large number of litters. Cats that we could not get fixed due to a lack of vet availability last year are already giving birth to 2021 kittens and the kittens they had last year are also now breeding. We need more vets in the Valley and we need the pandemic to be brought under control!”

For now bottle drives have become their main fundraising activity because they can be pulled off with pretty easy COVID-19 safety protocols.

“But no bottle drive would garner enough income to cover the expenses a community the size of Lake Cowichan and area will generate,” Hamilton said.

A CCR fundraiser is, however, slated for Saywell Park on April 17 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Residents near and far are encouraged to bring their empties to the park in support of their felines friends.

“The money will go into the general account and be used as needed in any part of our territory, from Malahat through Ladysmith.”

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