Why we Walk for the Kitties

UPDATE: It turns out Polly is a boy! Because he’s feral we weren’t able to get close enough to give him a thorough examination so it wasn’t until he was put under anesthesia to remove his rotten teeth that the discovery was made.

Senior cat Polly was living under a vacant house when she was spotted by a letter carrier who asked us to help.

Suffering from a severe infection to her nose and left eye, poor bedraggled Polly was taken to our Operation Centre for treatment. She came in very dirty and skinny with broken teeth and many puncture wounds. We suspect she must have been attacked by another animal, but initially the vet couldn’t rule out cancer on her nose.

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BEFORE & AFTER

To make matters worse, Polly is feral. This means she didn’t grow up with any human interaction so she lashes out when people come near. But this didn’t deter VOKRA co-founder Maria. She wouldn’t give up on Polly and everyday she patiently and slowly cleaned her face and applied antibiotic cream.

There was a point when Maria thought Polly’s nose would never heal, but suddenly one day new, pink skin began to grow. Today Polly’s nose is almost completely healed. After she has a couple of her rotten teeth removed, our hope is she’ll be able to live out the rest of her life in our feral barn sanctuary.

Polly is just one of the thousands of reasons why we Walk for the Kitties.

Each year, VOKRA rescues more than 1,800 homeless cats in the Lower Mainland. Unlike many other animal rescue groups, VOKRA is a volunteer-driven, no-kill organization. Our work is made possible through the generous support of volunteers, adopters and people like you.

Please help us help kitties like Polly this September 18 by joining us for the 7th Annual Walk for the Kitties.

Eventbrite - VOKRA's 7th Annual Walk for the Kitties

Walk for the Kitties is our largest fundraising event of the year. Learn more here.

Can’t make it on September 18? You can still donate today!

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It’s a TupPURRware Pawty!

TupurwerPAWTYNews

The holiday season is just around the corner and you’re going to need something to put your leftovers in! But have no fear – we’re having a TupPURRware Pawty!

From October 1 – 15, 2015, when you order from Tupperware Canada via our special fundraising page 40% of all proceeds go to us. All funds raised will go directly towards paying down our vets bills.

Click here to order online or contact lindaperry@telus.net. Paper forms are also available at our Operations Centre.

All orders will be shipped directly from Tupperware Canada for delivery around November 1.

 

 

 

6th Annual Walk for the Kitties raises $50,000

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On Sunday, VOKRA celebrated our sixth annual Walk for the Kitties, raising $50,000 for homeless cats and kittens in the Lower Mainland. Hundreds of animal lovers took part in the five kilometer walk at sunny Jericho Beach, making this the largest Walk to date.

Proceeds from the Walk will go directly to support our many initiatives aimed at ending cat overpopulation and homelessness. Each year more than 1,400 cats are adopted through VOKRA and now how a better chance at a happy and healthy life.

“Walk for the Kitties is such a special event for everyone involved. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together and be united by their love of cats and concern for their well-being,” said Maria Soroski, co-founder of VOKRA. “As a 100 percent volunteer-driven charity, this support is what allows us to continue to rescue homeless or abandoned cats, care for pregnant moms and orphaned kittens, and to help decrease and manage the feral cat population in the Lower Mainland.”

Each year for the Walk, we nominate spokeskitties that help represent the more than 14,000 cats and kittens our no-kill organization has rescued since it was founded in 2000. This year’s spokeskitties were:

  • Tuffy, a sick feral cat now healthy and living out his days in comfort;
  • Dino, a rescued kitten who needed surgery to save a broken leg;
  • Latifah, an abandoned pregnant mom who gave birth to five kittens;
  • Everest, a cat born without fully formed back legs who, after special therapy, was able to gain strength and mobility; and
  • Arthur & Buster, two formerly feral cats learning what it takes to live in a loving home.

If you weren’t able to make the Walk it’s never too late to donate!

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Behind the Scenes at a Spay Day

This month, we teamed up with Paws for Hope and Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital in Surrey to provide a day of free health checkups and spay/neuter services for 30 cats from low-income families in that area. With the formation of the new Surrey Community Cat Coalition and the great outreach work that group is doing, word is starting to get out about the cat overpopulation crisis in Surrey. Initiatives like this “Spay Day” are important steps towards solving that crisis.

Our low-income support services are somewhat small due to our limited resources but we recognize this as a key area to focus on to help end the suffering of cats in our communities. And let’s not forget the humans! We know how much positivity cats provide their owners with. They are a source of love, acceptance and companionship, things that everyone deserves to have, no matter their economic situation. We at VOKRA are all about responsible pet ownership but we also understand that finances can sometimes challenge even the most responsible pet lover. We would love to be able to support more events like this, helping address cat overpopulation at its root and curbing it where it starts.

On September 28th, VOKRA volunteers gathered up our carriers, picked up the 30 eligible cats and took them to Scottsdale for their vaccinations. On November 2nd, we picked up the cats again and took them in for their spay/neuter surgeries before returning them that same day to their grateful owners. Great effort, team! A special word of thanks is due to our amazing volunteer Laura who continually goes above and beyond to support low income pet owners and their feline friends. Thank you, Laura! We are so lucky to have you.

Take a look at some of the beautiful cats, the hardworking veterinary staff who donated their time and services, and our amazing team of volunteers in action!

 

Mittens gets an exam before her surgery

Mittens gets an exam before her surgery

Whiskers is a formerly feral kitten. His owner used food to socialize and tame him.  Whiskers was a sweetheart and even gave our volunteers kisses!

Whiskers is a formerly feral kitten. His owner used food to socialize and tame him. Whiskers was a sweetheart and even gave our volunteers kisses!

 

Dr. Shawn Llewellyn of Paws for Hope gets ready for a busy day along with five other veterinarians, technicians and our VOKRA volunteers.

Dr. Shawn Llewellyn of Paws for Hope gets ready for a busy day along with five other veterinarians, technicians and our VOKRA volunteers.

Tigger is here for his vaccination booster.

Tigger is here for his vaccination booster.

Tigger is too young for surgery but we'll bring him back when he's five months old to be neutered.

Tigger is too young for surgery but we’ll bring him back when he’s five months old to be neutered.

Dr. Irene O'Brian getting kitties ready for their surgery.

Dr. Irene O’Brian getting kitties ready for their surgery.

Dr. Chris Armstrong begins an ovariohysterectomy/spay on one of the female cats.

Dr. Chris Armstrong begins an ovariohysterectomy/spay on one of the female cats.

Getting inked! The final step before the recovery room is an identifying tattoo in the ear for each cat.

Getting inked! The final step before the recovery room is an identifying tattoo in the ear for each cat.

Kathy Powelson, Executive Director of Paws for Hope, is interviewed by Global TV news along with Alannah Hall, Chair of  VOKRA's Board of Directors.

Kathy Powelson, Executive Director of Paws for Hope, is interviewed by Global TV news along with Alannah Hall, Chair of VOKRA’s Board of Directors.

Check out the interview here!

http://globalnews.ca/video/1649919/stray-cats-in-surrey/

Thanks to Paws for Hope, Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital, and VOKRA, 30 cats are now fixed and won’t be contributing to the overpopulation problem. Speaking of contributing, you can help us provide more services like this and improve the lives of Lower Mainland cats and their owners by making a donation to VOKRA.

With your help we can end the suffering of cats and kittens due to overpopulation in Surrey.

Please click here to visit our website and donate today!

 

Would You Donate Six for Karen’s Sixtieth?

There is normally a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy around Karen Duncan’s birthdays. VOKRA’s amazing President chooses to celebrate every day rather than marking the passing of the years. Or something like that. All we know is, if anyone dares bring up her birthday, OFF WITH HIS HEAD!

But not this year.

Karen Age 9

This year, Karen is turning sixty. Sure, 30 may be the new 20, and life may begin at 40 and, apparently, it’s nifty to be 50, but sixty…well, sixty is a pretty big deal. How should one celebrate such a momentous milestone in the life of such an amazing woman? By saving the lives of hundreds of homeless, abandoned and unwanted kittens, of course. I mean, that’s what Karen has done every day for the past 14 years. But let’s do this up properly today, shall we?

We’re asking everyone who is a VOKRA supporter, a Karen lover, a cat fancier or just someone who appreciates the number 6, to join us in our Six for Karen’s Sixtieth campaign. Donate $6, $60, $600 or $6000 to VOKRA to honour Karen’s many years of dedication and the thousands of cats’ lives she has saved. If you set up a $6 monthly donation, it will be automagically withdrawn from your bank account each month (you won’t even miss six bucks!) and you’ll get a tax receipt at the end of the year for the total amount donated.

If each of VOKRA’s Facebook supporters donated $6, we could pay off one of our vet bills. If everyone who has ever adopted from VOKRA gave $6, we’d be able to wipe out our debts completely. No matter what the amount, we will put it to good use doing the work Karen loves. If you don’t have $6 to spare, we get it, we really do. Instead, we hope you will share this campaign and help us spread the word. Because every $6 counts.

Karen Duncan has dedicated her life to saving cats and kittens in Vancouver. On her 60th birthday, help us celebrate her by making a donation to her organization and helping her continue her heart’s work for many decades to come.

Karen smiling

Happy Birthday, Karen. We love you.

 

Click here to donate to VOKRA