New ‘meowyoral’ race featuring felines announced by B.C. animal shelter

Organizers hope the cat election will generate attention for shelter and local municipal election

Voters will have the chance to elect a meowyor as well as four pouncillors in the Civic Election Feline Connection.

Voters will have the chance to elect a meowyor as well as four pouncillors in the Civic Election Feline Connection.

If election season can be equated to a rat race, then the action at the polling booths in one B.C. town may get a lot hairier this year with the entry of a dozen last-minute CATenders.

With wiggling tails and a hunger for rodent fillet, 12 residents from the Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven shelter have put their paws forward as CATidates in this year’s Civic Connection Feline Election.

After reading an article about an American community that elected a cat as mayor, Safe Haven volunteer Philip Tingey came up with a local feline version.

READ MORE: Chilliwack cat donates to Animal Safe Haven

“It gave me the idea that it would be kind of fun to run our own election to parallel the civic election here,” said Tingey, who’s been donating his time to the animal shelter for nearly four years.

And with platforms like “If elected, I promise I will not commit faux paws on Pouncil,” and “I believe in teamwork; I am not a pawtocrat,” it’s apparent the claws are out, even at this early stage, but Tingey says that’s okay.

The cat election is “about creating more awareness of the Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven and what we do.”

Opened in 2003, the Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven Society is a registered non-profit no-kill animal shelter that focuses its efforts on the local feline population.

“The Animal Safe Haven dedicated to saving homeless cats and helping pets stay in loving homes, and cultivating respect and awareness for the rights and needs of animals,” said Tingey.

And although the event could’ve been used as an opportunity to raise money for the shelter, organizers decided to use it as an attention getter, both for the shelter and the race for seats in the local government.

“It’s not really a fundraiser. It’s about us being here, attracting (attention), and getting people to come out and meet the cats, volunteer, or ideally, adopt a cat,” he explained.

That said, feline electoral hopefuls will still accept campaign donations, however, Tingey notes “the bribing of candidates with Temptations or other types of cat treats is strictly prohibited under the Provincial Feline Elections Act, R.S.B.C. 2003.”

Outside of the furry puns and photos of endearing cats, the Civic Connection Feline Election has a more serious purpose.

“We’re encouraging people to (not only) vote in our election, but also in the municipal election,” added Animal Safe Haven president, Lynn Torgalson.

READ MORE: Rental squeeze putting pressure on animal rescue

“Municipal politics affect us more directly than federal or provincial politics because these are the people who run our city,” Torgalson continued. “But civic elections don’t seem to get much turnout, which is very sad.”

So following lead from its human-counterpart, voters who partake in the feline election will be able to choose one meowyor and four pouncillors, who have all promised to tackle the key issues cats in Chilliwack are facing in the 21st century and how the community can help address those issues.

“It’s very hard to find pet-friendly rentals,” explained Torgalson, “so it would be really, really nice if there was a lot more pet-friendly accommodation available in Chilliwack.”

Torgalson estimates upwards of 20 per cent of the shelter’s cats have be surrendered “because their owners have moved and are no longer able to have a pet where they’re going to.

“But the more attention we can get for the shelter, the better is is for the cats,” so the feline election will run concurrent with the municipal election. Because at the end of the day, the shelter just wants to find as many feline fur-ever homes as possible for its residents.

Should you wish a one-on-one with any of the Animal Safe Haven’s feline CATidadates, or another of its 110 cats, please drop by the shelter during open hours to discuss their platform and deliver as many ear and chin scratches as you’d like.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Cats are centre stage as the Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven Society announces the Civic Election Feline Connection to garner attention for its adoptable residents, as well as whet voter appetites heading into next month’s municipal election. (Philip Tingey)

Cats are centre stage as the Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven Society announces the Civic Election Feline Connection to garner attention for its adoptable residents, as well as whet voter appetites heading into next month’s municipal election. (Philip Tingey)

Just Posted

The BC Hydro Dam at Alouette Lake. (The News files)
Alouette Lake boaters may be left high and dry

Hydro plans may bring down water levels of Maple Ridge lake in future summers

(Black Press Media files)
Snowfall expected for Lower Mainland on Saturday night, Sunday morning

2 to 5 cm of snow predicted Metro Vancouver, according to Environment Canada

Jim Graham caught the sunrise Tuesday, Jan. 19 along the Fraser River looking toward Mount Baker. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Sunrise over the Fraser River

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Elise Gouin (left), tech peer to Jocelyn McLean, in booth at CEED Centre Neighbourhood House. (Christian Cowley/Special to The News)
New seniors programs at Maple Ridge centre help isolated connect

The CEED Centre Society is offering two new seniors programs

Nobody will be turned away from the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministry in the next couple of days as temperatures are expected to dip below freezing. (THE NEWS/files)
Ridge Meadows Salvation Army calls for extreme weather response

Freezing temperatures forecast tonight and Friday, snow on the weekend

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Abbotsford Police officers investigate the scene after a pedestrian was struck and killed on Friday morning. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Male pedestrian, 37, killed in Abbotsford after being struck by vehicle

Collision took place in 31800 block of South Fraser Way on Friday morning

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

Fire on Yale Road north of the overpass Friday morning. (Progress file)
Early morning blaze guts Chilliwack restaurant

The fire erupted north of the overpass closing one lane of Yale Road

Most Read