12/24/2011 05:32 EST | Updated 02/23/2012 05:12 EST

Cats overwhelm Prince Rupert shelter in 2011

Santa Claus is expected to visit B.C. children later Saturday night from his airborne sleigh, but a Prince Rupert wildlife shelter is hoping that regular people on the ground can help with its Christmas wish list.

Nancy Golinia, who operates Prince Rupert's Wildlife Rehab Shelter with her husband, Gunther, said local residents are turning their volunteer-run operation into a kitty dumping ground.

The shelter is normally home to injured and recuperating bears and eagles, but the Golinias have taken in 101 pet cats in 2011.

It's putting a huge strain on the shelter's finances.

"It's enough to break the bank. We put $11,000 last year just into cats. It's just unbelievable," Golinia said.

The Golinias are now turning to the public.

They've come up with a Christmas wish list 18 lines long, which includes items such as hulled oats and frozen mice for feeding sick owls.

Making the list isn't something Nancy Golinia wanted to do, but she and her husband have spent their entire life savings on the shelter and their account is nearly empty.

"Our backs are against the wall. We had to do something," she said.

Meanwhile, the Golinias will keep doing what they do: accepting animals, pets or wild, into their ever-expanding family.