There are an estimated 34,000 free-roaming cats currently living in Surrey. Without intervention, this number is expected to grow as cats and kittens continue to reproduce at an alarming rate. Surrey resident Charlotte Austin recognized the overpopulation of stray cats within the city and the critical need to promote spaying/neutering within her community. With the support of local physician Dr. Jeffrey Roberts, Charlotte founded the North Surrey Spay/Neuter Project, which provides free spay/neuter services for low-income families.
It began in the fall of 2014 when Charlotte learned that many of the children she works with had unsterilized cats and kittens at home. Many of these children’s families are low-income and could not afford the spay/neuter fees, along with other veterinary care such as vaccination or tattooing. Through her volunteer work with VOKRA, Charlotte would offer to take in kittens that these families needed to find homes for, and would herself pay to have cats sterilized and vaccinated. However, she knew her efforts wouldn’t be enough to address the constant need for free spay/neuter services in Surrey.
That’s when she remembered a conversation she once had with a doctor in the community (and VOKRA adopter!) Dr. Jeffrey Roberts of the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine, a company with a lot of caring cat people working there. Having previously spoken together about cats and VOKRA, Charlotte decided to speak to Dr. Roberts about the need for low-income families to access veterinary care for their cats and kittens.
I approached Dr. Roberts about sponsoring a free spay/neuter project for families in the community where I work. He very graciously agreed to sponsor the project and started the wheels rolling with a hefty donation.
In less than five weeks, the North Surrey Spay/Neuter Project helped spay/neuter thirty-three cats and kittens, with several females awaiting spaying once their kittens have been weaned.
Charlotte immediately saw the positive impact the North Surrey Spay/Neuter Project has had in her community.
This project is unique because it helps both animals and people. The families are extremely grateful for the assistance and the cats do not have to worry about producing more or ever having kittens. As well, it is a shining, real-life lesson in the responsibility of proper pet guardianship to children.
However, veterinary care is not cheap and there is no end in sight to the cats and kittens in Surrey who need to be spayed/neutered.
We are very proud of how many cats and kittens we have helped, but have basically drained the account. We seriously need help from the public to continue this project. It is a small, but necessary step, in helping reduce the number of stray cats in Surrey.
Charlotte and the North Surrey Spay/Neuter Project have started something great with the support of Dr. Jeffrey Roberts, but with kitten season now in full swing, the project desperately needs your help to continue to address the critical need for veterinary care for cats and kittens in Surrey.
You can help control the number of unwanted cats and kittens. Visit VOKRA.ca to donate, noting North Surrey Spay/Neuter Project, today.
Post written by Kim C.