The Sylvan Lake and Area Serenity Pet Shelter Society currently has around 11 cats in serious need of finding their forever homes, said the society’s president Melanie Crehan.
These cats currently live in foster homes as the society does not operate out of a building.
Crehan said the fostering system is in place to help the pets learn proper behaviour and social skills, such as being in a family atmosphere, which improves the chances of the pet being adopted.
She said cats are extremely hard to find permanent homes for and can be waiting months — and sometimes even years — to be adopted.
“I have a mother cat and her two kittens from last year,” Crehan said. “Some of the other littermates were adopted out, but no one has come for these ones.”
Due to some cat owners not having their pets spayed or neutered, Canada is faced with having a mass number of cats needing rescued, medical attention and a place to call home, said Crehan.
“There are so many cats, and because there are so many, they are not valued,” Crehan said. “People say, ‘It’s just a cat and I can get one free,’ but then they don’t spay or neuter them, or don’t put any money into them. It’s a terrible habit we have in our society.”
Serenity ensures all of its animals are put in safe and caring homes. The process of doing so sees potential owners filling out adoption applications before taking part in a meet and greet with the animal along with Serenity representatives.
“We make sure the environment is safe and that things are as the people said they are,” Crehan said. “Most times it works out beautifully, and the animal is then placed.”
When adopting a cat from Serenity, there is a fee of $125 — a fee that ensures that the cat is fully vaccinated, de-wormed, vet-checked and spayed or neutered, which is cheaper than paying hundreds of dollars for a cat from a pet store, Crehan said.
She said Serenity offers a helping hand all across Central Alberta, and to police departments who call for assistance in animal rescue.
Its rescued animals are taken to the Rimbey Veterinary Clinic for any necessary treatment, Crehan said.
Serenity’s monthly veterinary bill, she added, is typically upwards of $2,500 to $3,000.
That’s why the organization hosts fundraisers like ‘Strutt Ur Mutt,’ which will take place at Centennial Park on Aug. 8. There dog owners can dress up their mutts and parade them around the perimeter of the park for a chance to win prizes. Money will be raised through entry fees and donations.
Crehan said she hopes to raise at least $1,000 from the event to give Serenity some desperately needed money.
“Right at the moment, our bank account is very low,” she said. “Realistically, $1,000 would help us with half a month’s vet bill.”
The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Registrations will be accepted on the day and leading up to the event. Registration forms will be available at the Sylvan Lake Farmers Market on both Fridays prior to the event.
Further information on donating to and supporting the Sylvan Lake and Area Serenity Pet Shelter Society is available at sylvanlakeserenitypetsheltersociety.blogspot.ca.