Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society got an email asking for help housing 20 animals rescued from the Interior. (Victoria Humane Society/Facebook)

20 cats rescued after B.C. man allegedly tries to strangle them

Rescued from the Interior, 15 kittens and five cats are now in the care of Victoria Humane Society

A network of feline rescue organizations came together to save 20 cats from possible death or injury after reports that a man was strangling cats in his home in the B.C. Interior.

The Victoria Humane Society, in conjunction with the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA), Cat Therapy and Rescue Society and the Nicola Valley Animal Rescue worked together to get 15 kittens and five adult cats from a dangerous situation in the Interior to Chilliwack, from Chilliwack to Vancouver and finally, to Victoria.

According to Penny Stone with the Victoria Humane Society, the man alleged to have harmed the cats was able to strangle two kittens and one cat before police could intervene. He was subsequently taken to jail and the incident is reportedly under investigation by the RCMP and the BCSPCA.

READ ALSO: Dumpster to diva: Kitten recovering after being tossed in trash at Victoria mall

On Monday, Stone was asked to take the cats before the man was released, so they wouldn’t be in his residence when he returned. That plea for help came from Angie Koczkur, who runs the Nicola Valley Forgotten Felines Society.

“It’s kitten season right now and I use my house as a sanctuary,” Koczkur told Black Press Media. “I can only have so many.”

Quickly, a network of cat-loving individuals and organizations sprung to action.

The cats were taken to Chilliwack where Melina Csontos, who runs a satellite rescue, transported them to Vancouver. Csontos says incidents like these are far too common, especially in rural B.C. communities.

“It’s very important to shed light on the fact that this is not a one-time occurrence. Something needs to change…people need to understand the importance of spay and neuter because that’s what it comes down to,” Csontos said. “People aren’t spaying and neutering [so] there’s too many animals, people don’t want them and their poisoning them, drowning them or strangling them.”

But these cats were some of the lucky ones. Once they made it to Vancouver, VOKRA fed them and treated them for fleas before driving them to Victoria, the only rescue able to to take all the animals at once.

“There were many people … and cat rescues involved to help this particular lot of kittens,” said Maria Soroski, VOKRA co-founder. “All of us rescues wanted to keep them together and because the police were involved with this gentleman and it will probably be a cruelty case.

“We are really fortunate in B.C. that we connect to each other through what we call, a cat rescue network within B.C. …When there’s situations where there’s so many cats in outlying areas of the Lower Mainland [and] some of these places don’t even have a shelter. They have just little cat rescues in their little towns and they’re overwhelmed. We all know each other and we all help out as much as we can.”

READ ALSO: Alberta woman charged after she allegedly tried to mail puppy and kitten

When they got to Victoria, Stone opened her home to the 15 kittens and five cats. Staff and volunteers are working shifts to help her care for the animals.

She says while the cats were scared, they don’t look neglected or harmed. She believes the incident was a result of mental illness.

According to Stone, the kittens will be up for adoption in about a week and the five moms will be put up for adoption in the weeks following once their milk dries up. A sixth male cat was rescued as well but Stone says it will be slightly longer before they decided whether or not to put him up for adoption.

“He’s very shy but very loving,” says Stone, adding that she thought he must have been beaten up by other cats multiple times. “He looks like he’s had a pretty rough life.”

Back in the Nicola Valley, Koczkur says the rescue work is rewarding but ceaseless.

“I’ve lived in this town 15 years, my phone never stops,” she said. “No body spays and neuters. These things are a living being and they don’t have a voice, that’s where I come in, that’s my passion.”



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society got an email asking for help housing 20 animals rescued from the Interior. (Victoria Humane Society/Facebook)

Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society got an email asking for help housing 20 animals rescued from the Interior. (Victoria Humane Society/Facebook)

Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society got an email asking for help housing 20 animals rescued from the Interior. (Victoria Humane Society/Facebook)

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii sportfishing lodges set to shut down

Tourism company wants to enact experiences more in line with Haida values

Immediate deal to reinstate AMHS in Prince Rupert not out of the question: Mayor Brain

B.C., Alaska officials fail to sign ferry deal in Juneau to reinstate service from Ketchikan

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

Haida Gwaii art gala seeks submissions

Annual fundraiser supports local artists and programs

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Area 51 events mostly peaceful; thousands in Nevada desert

Three more people were arrested Friday on the remote once-secret military base

B.C. First Nation signs agreement to return its land on Vancouver Island

The land on the east coast of Vancouver Island will be returned to the We Wai Kai Nation

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Most Read