By Tim Kalinowski on May 29, 2021.
Last Chance Cat Ranch’s dozen of volunteers and numerous other financial supporters are keeping the record of what they are doing in the community after the recent slurs against them at the Community Safety Standing Committee earlier this week.
“All of our volunteers are very upset,” said Laurie Olmsted, a Cat Ranch volunteer and board member who is the organization’s designated spokesperson on the matter. “Some of us work some sort of rescue role 20 hours a week, hoping that we will make the difference. In the course of that meeting, the undercurrent of negativity and the negative things that were out there just made us feel that they consider us some kind of plague. In reality, we have saved thousands of cats over time that the organization exists. “
Olmsted said if people knew the stories of the animals they have rescued, rehabilitated, and repatriated over the years, they would understand why their passionate volunteers are upset about misleading comments from individuals, city officials, and committee members at that meeting.
“The hardest part for volunteers is experiencing the abuse, neglect, and hardship that some of the animals that come through our doors have experienced,” she said. “Everything from severe wounds to total emaciation from starvation, poor health, very bad teeth, full worms, and just really bad health for (cats) who have sometimes been in the elements for years. It is very difficult to get through the door cats that may have had an eye removal like they recently did, or severe bite marks on a neck that have become infected and abscessed, to teeth that are bad enough for the cat to do bad is. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to be in absolute agony.
“We get them the help they need and help them recover and get through it. And often we lose them. We have lost a lot of animals because they are too far away when they are helped. That’s the hardest part.
“The most rewarding part is the downside of it: seeing these animals thrive again.”
Olmsted said she fully understands people’s frustrations with stray cats, but the Cat Ranch doesn’t allow any of their rescue cats to roam freely.
“We don’t have cats roaming around,” she said. “We renovated the house, where we have cat beds on the wall, where the cat can get up on sidewalks and have their own space. We have three Catios in the back. “
The ranch has three separate living areas for the cats that move in and out upon adoption, approximately 40 of which are present in the main house at any given time, and only 12 full-time cats in a separate on-site living area that are on the ranch are elderly or have health problems that make them unacceptable.
There are no full-time residents on the property, and the cats are looked after by around 60 volunteers who work in two shifts of three people each day.
“These cats are groomed and well cared for,” said Olmsted. “You continue to be loved. They are brushed. They are being played with. When they are shy (of people) they are encouraged to trust. Our volunteers deal with these cats every day. There is no pause in what we do. We are there at least twice a day, cleaning, washing, washing, rinsing, feeding, vacuuming, mopping, scooping up rubbish and just socializing with the animals. And give medication to those who are sick. “
Regarding the proposals that their property was “uninhabitable” at the SPC meeting, Olmsted said it was absolutely wrong and thanked chief charter officer Dave Henley for making this very clear to committee members, despite having a disgruntled neighbor a longstanding grudge against the cat ranch could add something to this.
“This is light years from abandoned property,” she said. “This is a new home. It’s maybe four years old. It is maintained daily. We take care of the oven and everything is done day after day. We have volunteers to carry out maintenance, cleaning and cleaning of the exterior. “
Regarding the granting of a cat statute, Olmsted said the cat farm would support something that said all cat owners in town would need to apply for a license that would at least require their cats to be neutered or neutered prior to their adoption.
“The biggest problem in town when they start talking about a cat rule is the stray cats,” she affirmed. “It’s an absolutely terrible problem in this town, and the other side of it is the amount of colonies of cats that are deserted and lost souls in Lethbridge is really terrible. We are not sure, in our opinion, whether the city is doing enough on this side to control this situation.
“We’re trying to do our best to contain some of these problems. We castrate and neuter. There are no cats in the house who have not been neutered or neutered when they are well enough to be neutered or neutered when they come. “
The cats also get all of their vaccinations before they are adopted or fostered, she added.
But, said Olmsted, it is one thing for a town committee to debate and consider a cat rule and quite another thing to allow a person to come in and the Last Chance Cat Ranch and all of their community volunteers and supporters to slander. by providing “lies” to committee members about the condition of their property and the care of their rescue cats, as she puts it.
“It’s troubling,” she said, “to say the least.”
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