Submitted by Dorothy Garrett, QCI SPCA Community Council Chair-The Animal Helpline and the Queen Charlotte Islands SPCA are working together to help reduce the tragedy of pet overpopulation on the islands. Anna Beitush, a long-time resident of the islands, had two great loves in her life; gardening and animals. As a result, Anna left a legacy to the QCI’s SPCA, which the local community council felt should be used in her memory to provide a low cost spay/neuter program on the islands. The Animal Helpline, in combination with assistance from a Gwaii Trust grant and the Village of Masset are also offering a spay/neuter assistance program. Both groups are hoping to see a reduction in the number of unwanted and homeless companion animals this year.
Each summer the QCI SPCA is faced with an overload of unwanted or homeless companion animals. We find ourselves in a position of not being able to take animals in as quickly as needed. People tend to think if they can give away their litters then all is well. But the fact is there’s a limited number of homes and the saturation point is quickly reached. We know we don’t get all kittens and cats that have been dumped, abandoned or left to fend for themselves. In some neighbourhoods it becomes a difficult and sometimes heartbreaking problem when homeless cats start having feral kittens.
Because pet overpopulation is a community problem we have to find community solutions together. We are unable to rehome all the unwanted animals we have on island. Thanks to Pacific Coastal Airways, the Sunshine Coast SPCA and other rescue groups many of our animals have been given a second chance off-island. This is a limited and short-term solution at best, subject to change at any time. In the summer, province-wide, we’re all in the same boat – overloaded. By ensuring that our animals are spayed and neutered we can eliminate the tragedy of pet overpopulation on the islands for the long term.
As a step in this direction, the all island spay/neuter assistance program is intended to help fix cats or dogs for people who are on limited incomes or to be used to alter animals that wouldn’t otherwise be done. This is a great opportunity for anyone who’s feeding strays or can’t afford to have their pet fixed. Call now for details or to apply as the funds are limited. Masset/Old Massett residents call 626-5126 or 626-3643, all other communities call 559-8439.
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