Foster volunteers needed as Lower Mainland animal rescues overrun

Jul 15 2021, 7:28 pm

Animal rescues in the Lower Mainland are in desperate need of foster volunteers as their shelters are overrun by displaced animals.

The Cat Therapy and Rescue Society (CTRS) in Mission said it is being forced to temporarily turn away animals in need due to a lack of fosters and adoptions.

“This is a very hard decision for us and the first time we have ever had to make this decision in the many years of operation,” the CTRS said in a Facebook post on July 11.

“Without fosters, we do not have the space to take in cats in need. Without adoptions, we can’t make room to take in more.”

The society, which is “100% no kill,” said it currently has 300 cats in its care.

The CTRS is urgently seeking volunteers who can foster a cat for a minimum of two weeks, are able to drive, and can administer medication.

The BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is also searching for volunteers to foster cats and dogs in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.

The society said it has seen an influx of vulnerable and orphaned animals, as well as those displaced by wildfires, which has required “more hands on deck.”

Michelle Rodgers, the BC SPCA’s senior manager of volunteer resources, noted that more volunteers are typically needed in the summer months anyway, as regular fosterers take vacation and their availability changes.

“Foster volunteers provide thousands of vulnerable animals with care, support and, more importantly, a place to thrive and recover every time they open their homes to an animal from a shelter,” Rodgers said.

“It also helps prepare animals for adoption by giving them a chance to live in a home where they can fully express their personality, work to overcome fears, or recover from trauma.”

Foster applications for the Cat Therapy and Rescue Society and the BC SPCA can be submitted online.

“We could not provide the level of care and support these animals need without our foster program and the volunteers who provide a safe, comfortable home for them,” Rodgers said.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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