A local cat rescue organization is set to reach a major milestone in 2014.
Since its inception, Whisker Rescue Society Red Deer and Area, has found forever homes for 1,850 cats. The organization averages about 30-40 adoptions a month.
“Never in my life did I imagine we would get this big or be in the position that we are right now. We’ve had so much community support – it’s amazing.
“It can be a little frightening at times but it is all so worth it,” said Stacy Worobetz, president of the organization, which became a registered charity in June of 2008. “It was definitely a calling that has turned into such a purpose for us in life.”
Whisker Rescue continues to expand their programs and they recently applied for a PetSmart grant for a program called the ‘Rural Cat Roundup’. This means citizens residing in Red Deer County can apply to have their cat spayed or neutered for free.
Applications for the program will be accepted until Jan. 31 and approved applicants will be chosen by a panel of volunteers and veterinary staff. Two hundred and twenty-five cats will receive free spay/neuter surgery by the conclusion of the program. Applications can be filled out online on the Whisker Rescue web site, or picked up at most veterinary clinics.
“That is very exciting for us. We are hoping to go for cats who are owned by rural residents,” said Worobetz.
Whisker Rescue has also launched a program called the ‘Guardian Angel Sponsorship’. This program allows people to make a meaningful difference if they are unable to foster a cat in their own home. For $25 a month, people are able to support a cat in Whisker Rescue’s care.
“If people can’t take on a cat of their own or aren’t able to foster, then this is a great way for them to help make a difference.”
As Whisker Rescue has continuously grown over the years and the organization has continued to make a difference in the community, Worobetz’s efforts were also recently recognized.
Worobetz has been given the Global Pet Foods’ second annual Heroic Heart Pet Service Award after being nominated. She was chosen not only for the work she does to help cats in need, but for the work she does in changing people’s perceptions of homeless cats. Global Pet Foods presented Worobetz with the award, 12 large bags of food for her rescue and a cheque for $1,000 which will help cover the cost of vet bills.
“I feel that there are so many people that deserve this and to be the person that was chosen, I can’t even put it into words. I see people that inspire me everyday – the everyday heroes that foster or take in a stray or feed strays or give shelter to a stray. I read about the people who go into the trenches and pick up the animals that are freezing and I think how on earth did I get picked? These people inspire me.”
Meanwhile, Whisker Rescue is also in need of donations this Christmas season and into the New Year as well. Items that can be donated include cat toys, blankets, pine litter bedding, bleach and paper towels as well as canned cat food, among others. Monetary donations are also gratefully accepted, Worobetz said, adding any cash received will be used to purchase items of need.
Citizens also looking to help out are able to donate to the ‘Sponsor a Spay or Neuter’ program where funds donated will help cat owners who cannot afford the entire cost of these procedures.
Any donations of $20 and over are eligible for a tax deductible receipt.
Those wishing to adopt a cat can view them at a number of facilities around Red Deer including Deer Park Vet Hospital (420 Allan St.), Piper Creek Vet Clinic (1, 166 37428 RR 273) and PetSmart (5001 19 St.).
For more information about Whisker Rescue visit www.whiskerrescue.com or email Stacy Worobetz at firstname.lastname@example.org.