Crush of kittens

Breeding frenzy brings with it more kittens than ever in Qualicum Beach

Volunteers Lea Thomson and Sophie Denton-Kadlubowski help to socialize some of the new arrivals at Qualicum Cat Rescue.

Setting records for the long jump, goals scored or even pie-eating may be all very well, but there’s one record that Barb Ashmead would be happy to do without — but she’s living right in the middle of it.

That record, said the spokesperson for Qualicum Cat Rescue, involves cats or, more precisely, kittens — lots and lots of them.

Ashmead said after five years of dropping numbers, she is starting to look at the burgeoning kitten population in the Oceanside area with a growing sense of alarm.

“In our first five years we saw promising results, with numbers of kittens and cats decreasing and fewer cats in existing feral cat communities,” Ashmead said, noting she had another mother cat with six kittens slated to arrive on Wednesday, in addition to the over 20 cats already residing at the facility. “Unfortunately, last two years have been different.”

In fact, she said, this year is shaping up to be a record year for unwanted kittens.

“We’ve adopted out 116 cats so far this year and handed out 120 spay and neutering certificates,” she said. “We have had record setting years two years in a row and now find ourselves, in spite of starting the year in a good financial position, with an empty bank account and having to turn away cats and kittens.”

Because of this, Ashmead put out a call to the community to lend a financial hand and donate to Qualicum Cat Rescue, in order that they can at least slow down the production of unwanted felines in the area.

Anyone who would like to help out is invited to drop by Qualicum Pet Foods during business hours or give them a call at 250-752-2797.



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