Winnipeg Humane Society dealing with 'state of emergency' over influx of cats
Published Saturday, August 12, 2017 2:08PM EDT
There are cats housed in temporary travel kennels, cats living in puppy isolation rooms and cats staying just about everywhere else at the Winnipeg Humane Society after a recent influx of felines put the shelter well over its regular cat capacity.
And now the organization is appealing to the public for help for what it’s calling a “state of emergency.”
The Humane Society estimates that there are at least 430 cats residing in the facility, more than double its average amount of 200. The shelter told CTV Winnipeg on Friday that it has had to deal with a recent spate of hoarding situations, which has contributed to the population increase.
“I had staff coming crying to my office yesterday because they’re completely overwhelmed,” the shelter’s CEO, Javier Schwersensky, said.
There are so many cats living at the Winnipeg Humane Society that the shelter has gone through a month’s worth of food and litter in just one week, Schwersensky said.
In light of the current crisis, Winnipeg’s Animal Services Agency is reminding pet owners to spay and neuter their furry friends.
“The more and more people who are spaying and neutering their cats and dogs, the less unwanted litters of pets we’re going to have ending up in animal shelters or rescue groups,” the agency’s chief operating officer, Leland Gordon, said.
The Humane Society is also urging people to wait at least a week and call ahead before surrendering a cat to the shelter.
“We need to make sure the amount of cats coming in is matching the amount of cats going out,” Schwersensky said.
The Winnipeg Humane Society said it is doing everything it can to care for the abundance of cats in its care and to follow through on its commitment to not euthanize any of them.
The shelter is offering free cat adoptions until Aug. 18. Cat-lovers are also being encouraged by the shelter to help by fostering a cat if they’re not ready to adopt one. Anyone interested in fostering a feline has been asked to contact the Winnipeg Humane Society directly.
With a report from CTV Winnipeg’s Stephanie Tsicos