A handful of dedicated people are trying to curb the number of feral cats showing up along Esplanade Street in Chemainus.
Chelsea Blackwell said she and Pamela Kelly, along with Little Rascals in Ladysmith, have been trapping and spaying and neutering the animals.
So far they have caught and spayed one female and a litter of kittens. Homes have already been found for most of the kittens. One is still at Little Rascals in Ladysmith waiting for a home.
The cats that couldn’t be tamed are re-released and fed.
“A few of them had lots of kittens this summer,” said Blackwell.
“Because there are so many, we need to raise some money to help Little Rascals. It is quite expensive.”
It costs around $170 to spay or neuter a cat, however the vet in Chemainus is helping out as well with a discount. So it works out to around $136 per cat.
There are around 10 cats to be caught.
The group will be holding a hot dog sale on October 2 in front of the 49th Parallel Grocery in Chemainus from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is also an account set up at Junction Bottle Depot in Ladysmith. Donations can also be made at Little Rascals in Ladysmith.
“We are just trying to get the money raised so we can get them all caught and get it done before next spring when they all start having kittens.”
Other groups are coming forward with the Old Town Bakery kicking in a few dozen cookies to be sold and the 49th is also donating some of the items for the hot dog sale.
Angela Fredrickson at Little Rascals said they’ve been drawing from the local animal fund that accumulates to assist local cases.
She said the problem with cats along Esplanade Street has been a problem for a number of years.
The animal fund started by collecting donations from trimming pets nails and has ‘taken on a life of its own.’
In some cases, said Fredrickson, kids will actually ask for donations for birthday gifts and add it to the fund.
“It’s kinda nice,” she said, noting the cost of spaying or neutering is going up, even with the discounts.
“If someone brings us in a feral cat, we are looking at a hair under $200 to spay and release it. So it’s significant for an animal you are setting free.”