A local animal adoption agency has recently reached a milestone after first opening six years ago.
Earlier this year, Whisker Rescue Society Red Deer and Area has found forever homes for 2,000 cats.
“When we hit our 1,000th adoption we thought that was so great and we didn’t think we would hit another 1,000 for quite a while. Suddenly, it came so quickly,”
said Stacy Worobetz, president of the organization, which became a registered charity in June of 2008. “It’s overwhelming and you almost try not to think about the number because it is a daunting task. And you don’t really get to stop and celebrate because it’s onto helping the next kitty.
“During our first months of operation, we were only adopting out 10 cats a month. It soon became something that is all consuming but it’s wonderful.”
Aside from the adoptions, 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.
Those interested in the program can check out the organization’s web site and choose a cat to sponsor. Once a cat is chosen by someone, all funds donated go towards that particular cat.
“If people can’t take on a cat of their own or aren’t able to foster, than this is a great way for them to help make a difference,” said Worobetz. “It really helps our cats that need special medication or special food. These are our long-term, hard to adopt, special needs cats. They are our ‘purrmanent residents’.
“Our monthly costs are sky high so this program ensures those cats get their special medication and special food. It’s also boosted everyone’s moral. You feel a connection. When a cat is sponsored through the program we put a little write up of who is sponsoring them on the web site.”
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.
“This is a subsidized program, so we ask the owner to pay half. If they can’t, we don’t turn anyone away, but the list is also long,” said Worobetz.
Any donations of $20 and over are eligible for a tax-deductible receipt.
Meanwhile, Worobetz said the wait list for cats to be taken in by Whisker Rescue continues to grow.
“It seems like for every cat we bring in, rescue and we adopt out, there’s probably 10 pregnant cats waiting. You save one and there are 30 that pop up again. It’s a little disheartening and very frustrating,” she said. “There are more rescue agencies in Alberta than ever before and we still cannot keep up. I want to see an end to this cat population crisis. It’s so simple – spay and neuter your pets. That’s the heart of the matter.”
Volunteers and those willing to become involved with the foster program are also something that is needed at Whisker Rescue as well, Worobetz added.
“We have a lot of adult cats that need short-term fostering. We just need someone to foster them for a couple of weeks so they can get their first set of shots, go into quarantine, get them spayed or neutered and then they can go into the adoption program,” she said.
In addition, 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. Also follow them on facebook or Twitter.