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Grand Forks cat shelter seeking new home

A Grand Forks cat shelter says it needs to find a new home for its shelter in a hurry.

Boundary Helping Hands Feline Rescue Society president Kimberly Feeny says their present location in the Johnson Flats neighbourhood is a converted 500-square-foot garage at a home that was badly damaged in the 2018 floods.

“It’s not a lot of space for 30 cats,” she says. “We used it for the winter but encountered quite a few problems with the pipes freezing. The heat didn’t work, so we had to run electric heaters the whole time, which gets quite expensive.”

The City of Grand Forks and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary are trying to find them a new home, she says. The former SPCA building has been eyed but so far has not become available.

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The group held its annual general meeting on Sunday. Grand Forks mayor Brian Taylor, city councillor Neil Krog, and Area D regional director Danna O’Donnell all attended.

Feeny says they are in a crunch as their lease is up at the end of June, and they would prefer to be out sooner, before flood season hits.

“Do we have solid prospects? No, but everyone says the ball is rolling,” she says.

At the moment the shelter has 28 cats, plus another five are in two foster homes. They expect that number to jump: their first pregnant mother was recently brought in and Feeny says they will soon have one a week.

She says additional space is needed for quarantining sick cats. One cold virus ran through the shelter because it’s a tight space.

“There are so many cats that need help so we take them in as we can. The more space the merrier because there’s an endless stream of cats at the moment.”

In addition to the garage space, Feeny says they have an RV parked on the property which has been used as an extra room throughout the winter. However, it’s not winterized, and running an electric heater around the clock has been costly.

The AGM was told the society raised $85,000 last year, of which $53,000 was spent on veterinary care. It helped almost 300 cats last year and found permanent homes for 227. So far this year it has found homes for another 32 cats.

“I’m hoping these numbers spur some people into action and realize that this is an issue in the Boundary and we are doing good work and we’re needed,” Feeny says. “So fingers crossed. I’m feeling optimistic.”

She says they are always looking for foster families and volunteers. You can find contact info on their website.

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