Volunteer group saving unwanted Campbell River kittens

In the last three weeks CRPAWS has saved close to 20 kittens

Jasmine Meyers

Trigger was found wandering alone on a logging road when he was four weeks old. He should have still been nursing and his eyes would have just opened. Luckily, some hunters picked him up and brought him home and handed him over to the Campbell River Partners for Animal Welfare.

Jasmine Meyers, a member of CRPAWS is fostering him right now. She is one volunteer of many housing an abandoned kitten. She said in the last three weeks CRPAWS has saved close to 20 kittens.

“Cat dumping is quite rampant in Campbell River,” she said, guessing that for every kitten they find there are probably 99 others that they won’t.

CRPAWS began with the Lost and Found Animals of Campbell River Facebook group in 2012. In the Fall of 2013 they worked with the SPCA with grant money from Pet Smart to trap, spay or neuter and release cats.

“We realized the grant was going to run out and the problem was still going to be there, so we decided we had to form this society and deal with it,” said Bonnie Fulton, president on CRPAWS.

CRPAWS officially became a society this past July. The group works closely with animal control and the SPCA to save dumped kittens and feral cats, spay or neuter them and find homes for them. They also maintain the Facebook group, and many will go out searching for animals when someone posts that they are lost.

In most cases the adult feral cats cannot be tamed and are found a barn home, but for the kittens there is still hope they could be pets.

Recently, the volunteers spent two weeks doing 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. shifts trying to rescue kittens that had been spotted in a large area. One volunteer even camped overnight in hopes of finding them. While on site, they encountered a bear and a cougar.

“Kitten trapping doesn’t sound sexy but it is actually kind of dangerous,” Meyers said with a laugh.

Another role that CRPAWS plays is the maintenance of the colonies of cats in the area. “Sometimes it is better to leave them in their territory and continually feed them, monitor them for veterinary issues, make sure they are spayed and neutered to stop the cycle,” said Meyers.

The message that the society really wants to get out there is that these animals cannot fend for themselves in the wild and there are other options to dumping unwanted kittens.

The new society is always looking for volunteers. They need foster homes, trappers and many others.

On Oct. 15 CRPAWS is hosting Rummage for Rescues, a garage sale, bake sale, bottle drive fundraiser.

Meyers said the money will go towards purchasing equipment that will make finding the animals easier, safer and less stressful for the cats.