SPCA does not accept Lake Cowichan’s stray cats

The Cowichan and District Branch of the SPCA is not impressed with the Town of Lake Cowichan residents cited in last week's Gazette.

  • Aug. 29, 2011 7:00 p.m.

The Cowichan and District Branch of the SPCA is not impressed with the Town of Lake Cowichan residents cited in last week’s Gazette.

Last week’s story was about Lake Cowichan resident Carolyn Muroe, who alleged that her cat, Misty, appeared to have been grabbed by the scruff of her neck and drenched in anti-freeze. She subsequently had to bring the cat in to the SPCA to be put down.

The story also followed nearby resident Glenn Sproule, who’s had trouble with cats defecating in his garden and killing the birds that live in his backyard. Sproule was quoted in last week’s article for having taken to catching cats in a wildlife trap and sending them to the SPCA.

The article also stated that Lake Cowichan Estates strata (known as “Vinyl Village”) traps cats and brings them in to the SPCA.

The main problem with what these people have said, Cowichan and District SPCA Branch manager Sandi Trent said, is that the SPCA does not have a contract with the Town of Lake Cowichan, so does not accept healthy strays from the town.

“We just don’t take your cats,” she said. “It’s your guys’ problem… I don’t want people under the misconception that they can trap cats and bring them in.”

It’s not to be heartless, she continued, but because the SPCA already has an over abundance of cats from the CVRD, which does have a contract with the SPCA.

“Your municipality has to step up to the plate,” she said.

“As far as the Town of Lake Cowichan, you need to go to the Municipal Hall.”

Typically, Lake Cowichan residents are able to bring stray cats in to the Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society. This is not currently the case, as the society has become inundated with cats, and is unable to take in any more.

The only other conceivable option would be the Coastal Animal Service. The Gazette phoned them, and confirmed that they do not accept stray cats from Lake Cowichan.

The SPCA only take in cats from the Town of Lake Cowichan that are in distress.

As such, there is currently nowhere a healthy cat can be taken.

Town of Lake Cowichan chief administrative officer Joseph Fernandez confirmed that the town does not have any bylaws that deal with cats.

Another issue the Cowichan and District Branch of the SPCA has with last week’s article is with regard to Muroe’s claims about her cat.

In last week’s Gazette, Muroe claimed that her cat was found drenched in anti-freeze.

“That cat was surrendered as a stray. That’s a fraud!” Trent said.

“The cat had a toxic flea collar on. The vet could not determine whether (the cat’s poor health was caused by) anti-freeze or the flea collar… It may or may not have been anti-freeze.”

With a $1,900 monthly budget for emergency calls from throughout the Cowichan Valley, Muroe claiming her cat to be a stray, and therefore not paying for it, comes as a slap in the face.

“That little cat cost us $215,” Trent said.

“If you don’t have the money, be up front. Don’t lie.”