A cat rescue society in B.C.’s Southern Interior is between a rock and a financial hard place as it searches for a new home.
The Boundary Helping Hands Feline Rescue Society is based in Grand Forks and is currently renting a flood-damaged home that’s soon slated to either be demolished or moved.
Scores of homes in Grand Forks were damaged by flooding in 2018, with buyouts being offered. The city plans on returning the low-lying neighbourhood to greenspace, with the option of moving some homes to new areas.
This week, the society said its lease extension has been denied, noting the move-out date is June 30.
“We have 38 cats and kittens in the shelter at this time, as well as two rooms packed with donations for our yard sales, one of our only sources of income,” wrote Kimberly Feeny, the society’s founder and president.
According to Feeny, the society has rescued well over 100 cats and has adopted out 42 cats since the society’s inception in December. It had been renting the house since March.
“Many of these cats would be suffering or dead if we hadn’t been here to help,” said Feeny.
Like the cat rescue society, the city is also between a rock and a hard place.
To qualify for federal funding, the city’s mayor says it has to meet milestones and one is soon approaching.
Mayor Brian Taylor says council is sympathetic to the cat rescue society, but that electricity will soon be cut off to the area and that people will soon be inspecting the flood-damaged homes to see if they’re either movable or slated for demolition and salvage.
Taylor also noted there’s a housing crisis in Grand Forks, and that it’s hard to find a place right now.
In the meantime, Feeny said she’s busy searching for a new home and has made several inquiries into finding a place.
Feeny has also set up a GoFundMe page and is eyeing the possibility of buying modular trailers.
“Again, we’d need a little piece of land for that. And none of that is going to come together (in a week),” said Feeny.
“We’re just desperate for a place to put our kitties for the time being.”
Feeny said she’s transferring some cats to nearby rescue shelters, “but with the amount of cats we have, this is not something that’s going to happen in a few days.”
She also said the society’s volunteers are also being affected, noting the “cats are their world.”
“We’re just reaching out to the public that if anyone has a location that we can use, be it temporary or permanent,” said Feeny.
“We just want to get our story out there that there’s a lot of cats here that need help. We just had four more kittens dropped off this morning.
“This is not a problem that’s going to go away. We are desperately needed here.”