Rosebud (aka “Rosie”) is the lone surviving kitten from a premature litter stricken with coccidia this fall. The Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society is seeking donations in order to continue providing services like the ones that kept Rosie alive.

Rosebud (aka “Rosie”) is the lone surviving kitten from a premature litter stricken with coccidia this fall. The Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society is seeking donations in order to continue providing services like the ones that kept Rosie alive.

‘Tsunami’ of cats leaves rescue society in need of cash

Rosebud needs your help. And so does the organization that saved her life. After a busy year unlike any before, the Lake Cowichan

Rosebud needs your help. And so does the organization that saved her life.

After a busy year unlike any before, the Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society is in “dire” need of monetary donations — contributions from new supporters, not just the regular ones — in order to continue its operations.

“We are at a point now where we’ve had to halt our subsidy program, [which helps] low-income people,” said LCARS director Mick Beddard. “We’ve had to nip that in the bud until next fall because we just don’t have the funds to carry on… Whatever funds we do have come in are going to have to go towards all the little ones we’re dealing with now.”

This year has been unexpectedly tough on the organization. For starters, the Kensington Foundation for Animals In Crisis, which had regularly given LCARS substantial donations (including $7,800 in 2015) closed down.

“They were sort of like the golden goose. It was great while they were around. It definitely made a difference,” said Mick. “You get sort of used to counting on a particular funding source and then shoot, they aren’t here anymore.”

The Kensington Foundation was the society’s major financial contributor.

However, losing that support was only part of the reason this year has been such a challenging one for the organization. It has also been a year in which the society was inundated with more cats and kittens than ever before, all in need of homes and care. To date, they’ve taken in 20 adult cats and almost 80 kittens.

And while the society has seen large years before, the demand for their services was spread out from January to December.

“Instead of this year concentrated all in four months. We didn’t get nothing until the middle of June. Then all of a sudden it was like the flood gates were open. It was like a tsunami.”

Mick and his wife, Barb, who is also operations manager for LCARS, do much of the society’s work out of their house. There they keep the cats and kittens in cages until they can be adopted out; administer medications; and help socialize the animals.

It may not be easy, but both Mick and Barb agree the work is incredibly rewarding.

The perfect example: Rosebud.

In September, LCARS took in a pregnant cat. Its owners weren’t giving it up, but knew they could not handle taking care of those forthcoming kittens. LCARS agreed to take the cat in until it had given birth, then have the animal spayed and returned to the owners. The society would keep care of the kittens until they’re old enough to be adopted.

Things didn’t turn out that way.

The kittens were born two weeks prematurely, and to make matters worse, the mother cat rejected all six of them and wouldn’t allow them to nurse.

“Six kittens just made her go wild and she wouldn’t have anything to do with them,” said Barb. “So I put them in a crate with a heater on the bottom and I got up every four hours, day and night, to feed them.”

This task was made all the more challenging when they learned the mother cat was sick with Coccidia — a parasite that causes damage to the lining of a intestinal tract — and had passed it on to the kittens when they were born. Barb and Mick bought medicine, treated the sick animals every 12 hours for seven days, and took them to the vet to check out their progress. This process had to be repeated two more times.

However, the Coccidia persisted and, one by one, all the kittens died. All except Rosebud or “Rosie” as Barb calls her.

“She was the one,” said Barb. “She was the fighter.”

At 11 weeks old, Rosebud is about half the size of other kittens her age — she weighs about 500 grams — and can’t be adopted out until she’s at least a kilogram, but she’s healthy and slowly growing.

“She’s one of the special cases,” said Mick. He and Barb are clearly proud of the tiny half-siamese kitten with an equally tiny mew. She has a particular fondness for cuddling into people’s necks.

But the special cases often come with a hefty price tag. LCARS has already spent $400 on Rosebud’s medicine and vet trips related to the Coccidia, and she still has to eventually be spayed and vaccinated.

That’s why the society is making an urgent plea to the community for more monetary donations. The “tsunami” of kittens in need of help this year has really left the organization in dire financial straits.

“We’re always fundraising, always working at getting money coming in. But this is the first time in a number of years that we’ve been so inundated in the fall and have such a vet bill this time of year,” said Mick. “We need people to be kindly enough to donate some helping cash money… Just to get us over the hump.”

Donations can be made to the Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society at P.O. Box 41, Lake Cowichan.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Duncan has begun the process to prepare a new transportation plan. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Duncan gets on board with transportation plan

But high cost raises concerns

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
North Cowichan to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

A police car at the scene of a child’s death Friday, April 9, at the Falcon Nest Motel in Duncan. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
RCMP investigating child’s death at Duncan’s Falcon Nest Motel

First responders attended to a call about an unresponsive child at the… Continue reading

Abby Dyer of Shawnigan Lake School. (Submitted)
Shawnigan Lake School poet wins top prize

Abby Dyer has won first place in the Senior Poem category in the Legion’s Youth Remembrance Contest

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
Vancouver Island team helps make $368 million three-tonne cocaine seizure

12 members from 19 Wing Comox involved in Op Caribbe

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photos courtesy Ella Smiley)
Chainsaw and friends near the beach thrill orca watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Nootka Sound RCMP and DFO Conservation and Protection Officers seized this 30 foot vessel, fishing gear and equipment as well as Chinook salmon, salmon roe, rock fish and ling cod after an investigation on Sept. 11. A judge in Campbell River on February hit the owner and his accomplices with significant fines, a ban on holding fishing licences and loss of equpment, including the boat’s motor and trolling motor. RCMP photo
Washington State trio’s fisheries violations the worst veteran officer has seen in 20 years

Judge bans three men from fishing or holding a fishing licence anywhere in Canada

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read