We’re Walking for Finn: Because She Can’t

Finn when she first arrived

Finn was trapped along with her mom Pumpkin and brother Henry at a trailer park in Langley. She arrived at VOKRA covered in fleas and with an infection that made her eyes all gooby. It was also immediately evident something was wrong with her back legs. We suspected she had swimmer syndrome, a developmental abnormality making her unable to stand.

Always a little trooper, Finn wouldn’t let her disability get in her way and would wiggle herself around our Operations Centre looking for cuddles, which, or course, she’d always get!

After several different vet visits, Finn was diagnosed with a spinal issue and it was discovered her right hind leg is significantly shorter than her left. To top it off, because she’s semi-incontinent she’s had to battle several urinary tract infections (UTIs), which isn’t uncommon for kitties with her condition. So today Finn lives with foster mom Corin and gets regular physiotherapy to help her get stronger so she can stand in her litter box and hopefully avoid future UTIs.

Finn gets regular hydrotherapy in the bathtub where she can now stand and take some steps. Corin also does both seated and standing passive manipulation with her to help train her muscles and Finn has some supports she uses to help her get around.

“Finn’s very clever and has figured our how to do pretty much everything without walking like other kitties,” said foster mom Corin. “She’s incredibly intelligent and only needs to see the other kitties in our home do something once and she mimics it.”

Along with her increased strength Finn’s litter box habits are improving so she’s currently UTI-free. If she can remain this way, she’ll head back to the vet to be spayed and will have additionally imaging done to better diagnose her issues. Then she’ll be able to start professional physiotherapy and even perhaps acupuncture.

The reality is only 25% of kittens who don’t receive human care survive. It’s a certainty Finn would not be alive today without help. Unlike many other animal rescue groups, VOKRA is a no-kill organization. This means we will always provide kittens like Finn with a chance at a happy life, no matter the cost.

“An empty lap is an invitation and Finn will fill it in seconds,” said Corin. “But behind those snuggles is a bit of a Rambo kitty. She fears nothing, not even the vaccum!”

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

Each year, VOKRA rescues more than 1,400 homeless cats and kittens from around the Lower Mainland. We’re volunteer-driven and our work is made possible through the generous support of people like you – our volunteers, adopters and donors. Walk for the Kitties is our largest fundraising event of the year and we rely on the funds raised to help pay for all the things like food, litter and veterinary care our kitties need.

Please help us help kitties like Finn this September 17 by joining us for Walk for the Kitties, presented by FirstMate.

Eventbrite - VOKRA Walk for the Kitties 2017

Can’t make it on September 17? You can still help when you donate today!

You can also follow Finn’s adventures on her Instagram account at @felinefinntastic

We’re Walking for the Kitties!

WALL-E’s a typical feisty kitten who loves to run, jump and play. Except for one thing, he now only has three legs.

We were first alerted about WALL-E when we saw an advertisement for a kitten with a broken leg. Obviously we were very concerned so we checked things out and ended up taking him in when he was 8 weeks old. WALL-E’s left hind leg had clearly been broken at some point and had healed in a backwards position.

Here you can see WALL-E’s backwards hind leg

WALL-E didn’t let his leg slow him down one bit, but it was clear something would need to be done. After consulting with a veterinarian it was decided the leg had to be removed.

Today WALL-E’s recovering from his surgery and his foster mom Dawn is trying her best to slow him down. Sometimes she even succeeds! Soon his stitches will come out and he’ll be on his way to finding a forever home.

Kittens like WALL-E are just one of the thousands of reasons why we Walk for the Kitties.

Each year, VOKRA rescues more than 1,400 homeless cats and kittens from around 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.

Without your support we wouldn’t be able to pay for the veterinary care kittens like WALL-E need. Please help us help kitties like WALL-E this September 17 by joining us for Walk for the Kitties, presented by FirstMate.

Eventbrite - VOKRA Walk for the Kitties 2017

Walk for the Kitties is our largest fundraising event of the year. This 5k fun walk takes place at Jericho Beach and all funds raised go directly towards supporting our rescue efforts. Learn more here.

Can’t make it on September 17? You can still donate today!

Kitten season is off to a record start!

This beautiful girl is April and she’s the proud mama of 10 healthy kittens. Yes, 10 kittens! This is the first time in VOKRA history a mama has successful delivered 10 healthy babies.

Each year during kitten season more than 900 kittens are born in our care. And if April’s litter is any indication, this season will be no different. As a volunteer-driven non-profit, we can’t support this many kittens without the help of people like you.

Kittens in our care have a chance at a happy, safe and healthy life. With so many kittens, April isn’t able to care for them all on her own. She simply doesn’t have enough milk to support this many babies and, if she would have given birth on the street, it’s certain some of them would not be alive today.

Thankfully we were able to rescue April in time and she gave birth in a safe space. Her foster mom Brenda is ensuring all the kittens get enough to eat through bottle feeding so everyone’s thriving.

Between the cost of special kitten formula and supplements, nursing kits and medical care we anticipate the cost to support each of these kittens is more than $150. That adds up to more than $1,500 just for this litter alone.

Will you help us today?

Your support today will help us buy extra food and litter, and will also pay for veterinary care and medication.

Please donate today to help save kittens like April’s.

A special thank you to Laureen Stokes for taking the photos of April and her family!

Calling all graphic designers!

Each year VOKRA produces and sells a calendar to raise money for the kitties. The time has now come to refresh the design and we’re looking for a volunteer designer/design firm to be our redesign partner. As a volunteer-driven non-profit, we can’t afford design costs, but our partner will be remunerated by having their name on the calendar as our design partner, free sponsorship on one of the calendar months for one year, lots of purrs from our cats in need of homes and hugs from our volunteers and cat adopters.

Goals:

  • Fundraising! Last year we raised $15,000 and we’re looking to grow this each year.
  • Brand messaging – To tell our story through the kitties featured each month on the calendar.
  • Building community – Providing adopters an opportunity to see their kitties in the calendar and introducing new people to VOKRA.

Process:

We’re looking for expressions of interest based on the below criteria. We’ll choose one partner who will then provide us with three design options to choose from. There are no design requirements as part of the expression of interest. Expressions of interest are due by May 1, 2017.

Please include the following in your response:

  • Information about your background and relevant experience
  • Any calendar design experience, including pictures of such designs (otherwise, please provide pictures of similar elements in designs you have worked on)
  • Information about your volunteer experiences, if any
  • A short paragraph about why you’d like to volunteer on this assignment for VOKRA

Redesign Criteria:

  • Functionality is key. In previous years we’ve sold calendar date squares to people so they can see their adopted cats in the calendar. This has been a challenge as end users are then unable to write on the calendar because the dates squares are full. As such, the new design should leave the dates squares open.
  • Please think outside the (litter) box. We’re open to any design format that meets the redesign criteria. This includes overall size and shape.
  • A look and feel that fits with VOKRA’s mission statement and personality (see below).
  • The calendar must include space for a feature cat photo each month, along with their brief story (approx. 2–3 lines) in a prominent way as part of each month’s calendar page. We’d like the story to be incorporated as part of the picture.
  • Thought should be put into how a sponsor’s logo can be incorporated into each month.
  • As we’d like to continue to offer adopters the opportunity to see their kitties in the calendar, we envision the ability to incorporate 5 -6 small photos into each month. This should be taken into account in the overall design.
  • Format and design: We’re flexible and open to suggestions.

For any questions or further discussion on this RFP, please contact Majid Khoury at 604-725-5892 or strategy@majidkhoury.com

Electronic submissions are preferred and can be emailed to strategy@majidkhoury.com by May 1, 2017.

Learn more about VOKRA on our website at vokra.ca or visit our Facebook page.


VOKRA’s mission is to end cat overpopulation and homelessness. We rescue, heal, then place cats—first in our network of foster homes, then in carefully matched, loving, forever homes. We are a passionate, volunteer-driven charity with extensive cat care experience. We believe that no-kill is the only responsible approach, that Trap Neuter Return works and that cats are AWESOME!

Key messaging to support the positioning:

  • No-kill policy
  • 100% volunteer-driven
  • All donations go to cat care
  • Cats live in foster homes, not cages
  • TNR program to reduce feral cat populations
  • Operated by experts on cats and cat health
  • Stringent policies and procedures related to the health and nutrition of cats in the care of VOKRA fosters
  • Stringent policies and procedures for accepting the right adopters who align with VOKRA’s love, protection, and respect for the adopted cats
  • Volunteers have a wealth of information and best practices on cats’ health, nutrition and behavioural issues

VOKRA personality to set the tone of branding/marketing/communications look and feel:

Professional, trustworthy, compassionate, caring, knowledgeable, organized, yet loveable and playful, like a cat.

 

 

 

Come run with us on June 25!

On June 25, Team VOKRA will be participating in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon and 5k run/walk and we want you to join us. It might not change your life, but your support will definitely help change the lives of the more than 1,400 kitties we rescue each year.

Kitties like Tortilla. After her owner passed away the person she ended up with wanted to have her euthanized. Thankfully the vet refused and we were called to take her in. Tortilla’s around 15 years old and when she arrived at our Operations Centre she was covered in fleas and lice and needed a medical check-up to investigate a lump on her chest (which thankfully turned out to be nothing). Without VOKRA Tortilla would be dead.

Today Tortilla is recovering from her ordeal in foster care and will soon be looking for her new forever home. Unfortunately Tortilla’s story is not uncommon and kitties like her wouldn’t be saved without the help of everyone at VOKRA and donors like you.

You don’t have to be an athlete to join. And few on our team have ever fundraised before either (you only need to commit to raising a minimum of $50). All you need is a love of cats. This love is what unites us as a team and carries us all over the finish line!

It’s super easy to get started. To join Team VOKRA simply click here to register. And, as a bonus, each team member is entitled to a special preferred rate. To get the preferred rate be sure to enter one of the following PIN codes:

Half-Marathon discount code: 17VOKRA21K
5K discount code: 17VOKRA5K

Once you’re registered you’ll receive a link to your personal fundraising page so you can get started right away. And to help ensure you achieve your goal, Team VOKRA will provide you with a motivational emails to help you fundraise. We’ll also invite you to join the Team VOKRA Facebook group so you can connect with your fellow team members. So there’s no excuses! Sign up today and join Team VOKRA!

Be sure to reserve your Team VOKRA spot as soon as possible so you don’t miss out!

Don’t want to run? You can still help when you sponsor Team VOKRA today!

Wanted: Volunteer Recruitment Coordinators

_mg_8142

As a volunteer-driven organization, VOKRA’s success depends on our ability to recruit new volunteers. We’r looking for Volunteer Recruitment Coordinators to assist with attracting and matching volunteers with suitable positions. As this important role is the face of VOKRA for potential volunteers, a positive and encouraging attitude is essential. If you have experience or an interest in recruitment or human resources, we’re looking for you!

Responsibilities:

  • Review and process volunteer applications
  • Conduct phone interviews
  • Respond to email and phone inquiries
  • Liase with department leads to fill vacancies and coordinate interview and orientations
  • Make recommendations for volunteer positions suitable for the applicant
  • Collaborate with other recruitment coordinators
  • Use creativity to increase awareness in the community about volunteering opportunities with VOKRA

Skills:

  • Education or experience in human resources is an asset
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently, as well as collaborate with others
  • Efective written and verbal communications skills

Requirements:

  • We ask for a commitment of 3 – 5 hours per week (based around your schedule) for a minimum of six months
  • Volunteers must have access to a personal computer, internet and phone as this position is based almost entirely from home.

To apply please complete the volunteer application form here and then email Raj at volunteervokra@gmail.com to let him know you’ve completed the application.

 

 

You can help save a kitten this holiday season

cauliflower-with-new-kittens

This is Cauliflower and she’s the proud mama of five kittens.

She was found upset and crying in the street not far from our Operations Centre. We’re not quite sure how she came to be on her own, but a neighbour told us this isn’t her first litter.

Unfortunately Cauliflower’s story is not uncommon. This year alone, more than 130 moms gave birth to more than 545 kittens while in our care. That’s a lot of kittens! And it doesn’t even take into account the little ones who’ve arrived without a mom.

The reality is only 25% of kittens who don’t receive human care survive. As a volunteer-driven non-profit, we wouldn’t be able to help all these moms and kittens without the support of people like you.

Kittens in our care have a chance at a happy, safe and healthy life. Once they’re old enough, Kale, Parsnip, Courgette, Broccoli and Cabbage will all be spayed/neutered and adopted into loving forever homes. And, like all the moms, Cauliflower will be spayed so she’ll never have to worry about getting pregnant again and she too will have her own forever home.

Your support today will help us pay for the cost of spaying/neutering, as well as for the food, litter and extra veterinary care all these moms and babies need.

Will you help us today?

This holiday season, please DONATE to help save families like Cauliflower’s.

veggie-patch

Parsnip, Kale, Cabbage, Courgette and Broccoli

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-7-32-25-pm

brussel-sprout_tania

Brussel Sprout

And meet little Brussel Sprout, an honorary member of the veggie patch. He and his sister were found freezing cold in a shoebox when they were just a couple of days old. Despite our best efforts, we lost his sister and he was left alone in the world. But luckily for him, he went to live with foster mom Tania where he was bottle fed and received round-the-clock care. It just so happens Tania’s also fostering Cauliflower and her kittens. Cauliflower took one look at him and decided he needed to come join the veggie patch and that’s how he became Brussel Sprout!

P.S. – By becoming a monthly donor you can show your support for VOKRA all year long. Just $10 pays for one kitten to be vaccinated each month.