07/21/2013 10:20 EDT

Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Needs Donations


A Vancouver-based kitten rescue organization is issuing an urgent plea for donations, foster homes and adopters after taking in almost four dozen cats in two emergency rescues last month.

The Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) rescued 47 cats in June, just as it lost a care centre. Many of the cats had colds and eye infections and had to be treated immediately.

Now the association, which runs a network of foster homes for cats, needs $100,000 to properly care for approximately 500 felines, as well as more housing for the kittens through adoptions or foster homes, president Karen Duncan told The Huffington Post B.C.

"What that did was really tipped things over the surface of what we can handle," she said of the emergency rescues.

"We're doing it, but man, we're just running as fast as we can trying to keep track and keep them all safe."

The cats came in two waves: first, VOKRA was called to rescue 27 kittens aged five to six weeks old from a farm in Abbotsford, B.C. The association split those kittens up between five foster homes in an effort to keep the sicknesses from spreading to healthy cats.

The cats remain in foster homes and it costs approximately $5,000 a month to care for them, including food and medical expenses, said a VOKRA news release.

The second wave of cats came shortly after the Abbotsford rescue, when VOKRA rescued 20 kittens from a farm in Aldergrove, B.C., where the pets were breeding out of control.

Now VOKRA has so many pets in its care that it can only take emergency rescues, meaning injured, pregnant or wild cats off the street. It has no more room for surrenders, that is, people begging the association to take their cats if they can't take them to a new residence or if they develop a sudden allergy.

The association has a strict no-kill policy, which means that the number of felines in its care just keeps growing.

"People always say, we want rescues, we want shelters to be no kill but that costs a lot of money, it really does, because you get the worst of the worst," Duncan said.

But VOKRA isn't the only organization facing pet pressures.

The B.C. SPCA is offering cats up for adoption at half price until July 31, in response to an overwhelming number of animals in its shelters, CTV News reported.

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