Improving Animals’ Lives Starts With You!
We recently wrote to you about an elderly gentleman overwhelmed by his situation caring for dozens of cats in northern Alberta.
Because of supporters like you, we were able to help this man, before the cats became distressed.
On a subsequent visit, our Peace Officer found the man in need of urgent medical attention. Emergency responders were called to the scene, and the man was taken to hospital, where he remained for several weeks.
Our Peace Officer ensured the remaining cats were cared for until the surrender process could be completed.
As always, our first priority is ensuring animals are free from distress… and thankfully, with the help of generous donors like you, in this case, we did just that.
Please give generously again today, so we can continue improving the lives of animals across Alberta.
The Back Story
Dozens of cats. One elderly caretaker, with limited resources. They all needed help.
You’re likely not surprised to hear that when animals are suffering, there are people involved, one way or another.
But what you may find surprising is, sometimes, the people involved need help just as much as the animals.
One of our Peace Officers recently attended a remote property in northern Alberta, after we received a call concerning a large number of cats potentially in distress.
Our Peace Officer arrived at the residence and knocked on the door. An elderly man answered, revealing dozens of cats inside. Our Peace Officer observed cat food bags and other signs indicating the cats had been recently fed.
And although it was evident the cats were far too crowded and the situation could rapidly change, the cats were safe, at least for the time being.
But it was clear, their situation needed improving.
And improving the lives of Alberta’s animals is our core work at the Alberta SPCA. It’s what drives us in our mission to protect, promote and enhance the well-being of animals in Alberta.
As our Peace Officer spoke with the man, he shared how deeply he cared for the cats. He said he felt like they were part of his soul.
He was also clearly overwhelmed, and seemed quite frail. And when he was gently asked when he’d last eaten, his heart-breaking response was,
“Two days ago… I’m keeping my last bit of food for my cats.”
You can imagine how our Peace Officer felt hearing that. This wasn’t a neglectful owner who was unwilling to provide for his animals. This was a man who was giving everything he had, but needed help—for his cats, and for himself before his situation became even more desperate.
The man was given the option to surrender the cats, so we could relieve some of the pressure he felt and prevent them from becoming distressed.
And as our Peace Officer left to get the man a good meal and allow him some time to think, she left some cat carriers behind. This meant he could choose to surrender as many of the cats as he felt comfortable with, right away.
Our Peace Officer also contacted a social services agency in the area to provide the man with additional, ongoing support.
You see, in cases like this, we’ve found approaching people with compassion and sensitivity most often results in better outcomes for animals. As long as it doesn’t place the animals in jeopardy, our teams will follow-up multiple times, if needed.
And sure enough, when our Peace Officer returned to the property, the man had placed a half-dozen cats in carriers, and signed the surrender agreement. He also agreed to surrender more cats the next time our Peace Officer was in the area. In the meantime, we left a good supply of cat food ensuring the cats remained in good condition.
Resolving a case like this takes patience and time, in order to ensure a positive outcome for the animals, and for the people.
But our first priority is always improving animals’ lives. And we do that for thousands of animals each year, only with the help of loyal supporters like you.