Portrait of stray dirty cat outdoors

Okanagan Humane Society: Life on the streets

A column by the Okanagan Humane Society

Every year, hundreds of kittens are born to a life on the streets. This is not an easy life. A life full of danger and risk almost always ending in an untimely and tragic death from car strikes, disease, frigid temperatures, or predators.

These animals all have a story. Some were once family pets, sleeping on the couch and being fed every day and became lost or were abandoned by their owners. These cats had to learn how to survive on their own. Others were born into this life and know nothing else.

Feral, lost, and abandoned cats are still domestic animals and do need human intervention to survive. This may be rescuing and rehoming or for those that are too feral to live with a family but have managed so far, it could be providing shelter, food, and water.

The Okanagan Humane Society (OHS) has been working diligently to help with lost, abandoned, and feral animals in the Okanagan Valley for more than 26 years. With a mandate of spaying and neutering as many animals as possible, OHS has fixed more than 24,000 animals in the Okanagan Valley all in an effort to help control the pet overpopulation and end this needless suffering.

A hard-working team of OHS volunteers have been rescuing these cats and kittens throughout the Okanagan Valley from Osoyoos to the Shuswap. Last year, OHS served more than 1300 animals in need in the Okanagan.

This time of year is especially busy as we are in the peak of kitten season. Those that have not yet been spayed or neutered or have been abandoned and not fixed are reproducing at astounding numbers.

Did you know? Up to 4,948 kittens can be born from one unspayed female cat and her offspring in seven years.

OHS offers two programs to help with these community animals. One is a rescue program where the cats and kittens are captured and provided all medical procedures needed along with being spayed or neutered. These cats and kittens will be adopted into a new, loving home or perhaps have a job as a mouser on a farm. The other program offers assistance to those with income barriers to ensure their animals are fixed. After qualifying, OHS will work with veterinary partners to ensure as many cats and kittens are being spayed or neutered as possible.

We know the program works as the numbers are slowly reducing over the years.

OHS is dedicated to relieving the suffering of homeless, abandoned, and feral cats and kittens living on the streets. This is done by the support of the community as the society receives no municipal or government funding.

To learn more about the Okanagan Humane Society or if you want to help rescue our local cats and kittens from the streets contact OHS at www.okanaganhumanesociety.com.

As a volunteer run organization, OHS is reliant on support from the community, reliant on support from donors. Make your donation today and help us save lives and end suffering of our local animals.

www.okanaganhumanesociety.com/donate or call 250-448-8554.

READ MORE: Okanagan Humane Society: Saving lives of local animals

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