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Kat’s Kritters Rescue looking for support

Emily Distefano, The Carman Valley Leader

Sasha is just one of the dogs available for adoption at Kat’s Kritters Rescue. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

Sasha is just one of the dogs available for adoption at Kat’s Kritters Rescue. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

It’s been a challenging time for Kat’s Kritters Rescue, which recently moved from the RM of Thompson to its third location in three years. Between unexpected bills, animal health issues and the difficulty of finding volunteers willing to commit themselves on a regular basis, the rescue is actively looking at ways to make sure it remains sustainable well into the future.

Now located south of Sperling on an eight-acre property, the service currently has 25 dogs and 45 cats in care.

“Unfortunately, the move became necessary due to lack of support from the previous community/RM in which I was located and also due to changing demands on the number of animals I was allowed to have on site at the previous location,” said rescue owner Kathy Gyoerick.

“Overall, the new location has been really great for the animals,” she said. “I have been able to increase the number of animals I have on site at any given time, and both the setup within the house and on the property is better suited for running a rescue. The property is much larger and is rural, so no close neighbours to worry about.”

With the added space, Gyoerick has been able to offer sanctuary to some of the ‘unadoptable’ animals and provide them with a quality of life that they may not have been able to receive otherwise.

Extra expenses

However, the relocation also yielded many more expenses and the rescue will remain on an intake freeze until Gyoerick has the time and financial resources to take on more.

“The monthly expenses for the new property have also more than doubled compared to the previous location, so that in itself is a huge challenge,” said Gyoerick. “As with most non-profit organizations, lack of resources (both (wo)man power and financial) continue to be the challenges fought on a daily basis…There are so many animals in need, but realistically I am only one person and can only take on as many animals as I can reasonably provide care for at any given time. That means saying ‘no’ to daily requests to take in more animals in need. It can be heartbreaking to make these types of decisions.”

The rescue has been dealing with some health issues among the cat population, so that has been time-consuming to deal with and has prevented work on some of the projects for 2017. Once things settle a bit, Kat’s Kritters hopes to work towards new programming such as community outreach, sponsorship programs for the animals in care, and more accessibility for the public.

And the rescue is looking for both monetary and volunteer assistance.

“As the rescue continues to get busier, it has become clear that I can’t continue to operate without help,” Gyoerick said. “Financially, I have used up all of my personal resources and since my sole income is through my pet daycare and boarding business, there just isn’t anything left to spare. This means I need to be cautious about ensuring that I don’t exceed a reasonable capacity of care by taking on more animals than I have the means to provide care for, and to ensure that my personal bills are paid.

“In essence, until the rescue is in a more stable position, I will need to turn away more animals in need and focus on adopting out the ones already in my care.

“Also, because the bulk of daily animal care is provided by myself alone, I need to focus on working with my veterinarian to streamline care procedures and to work towards providing the best care possible with minimal assistance from volunteers until that volunteer base can be built,” she added.

The joy of rescue work

Through the tough times, Gyoerick said sheer stubbornness and the joy of helping animals in need keeps her going.

“The biggest joy in rescue work, for me, is always seeing an animal that has come into care broken in some way, either mentally or physically, recover and start to thrive and then when that animal finally finds a great forever home,” she said. “There is nothing comparable to having been a part of that journey.

“It is also always amazing to receive donations, and kind words of support, from people that I have never even met but that are so supportive of the work that I am doing. It means a lot to be encouraged and to know that there are great people in the world that care as much as I do about animals in need.”

The rescue’s next largest fundraising event is the Spring Online Auction which will run on the Facebook page (facebook.com/katskrittersauction) March 1-5.

The last auction was held in 2015 and Gyoerick said it was a big success. The rescue is still looking for people or businesses to donate items to auction off this year.

If anyone has something they would like to donate, or if you’re interested in learning more, donating, fostering, or adopting you can contact the rescue via email at katskrittersmb@gmail.com.

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edistefano@postmedia.com