By Magdalena Romanow
More often than not, our furry family members are not part of summer vacation trips.
Rescue shelters tend to shy away from boarding animals in their facilities.
We are here to take in animals who have nowhere else to go, and a boarder will take room away from an animal in need.
We also found out –the hard way – that sometimes long term boarders end up being abandoned at our facility.
So unless your cat is a Katie’s Place alumni and needs a place to crash for a week or two, especially if it has medical issues we can tend to, then look elsewhere for a babysitter.
There are numerous wonderful cat boarding facilities in most municipalities. They have indoor and outdoor areas, single rooms for single cats, comfortable furniture for the animals to relax on, and many other great amenities.
Some vet clinics also have boarding facilities.
The typical rate for boarding is $20 a day.
Most boarders would be willing to work out some sort of deal for long-term guests. It is their livelihood, but let’s be honest, any reputable animal business is usually run by a kind person who, above all else, wants to help out the animals.
The fear for rescuers and boarders is that if a person can’t find affordable accommodations for their pet while they go on vacation, the alternative is that the animal gets dumped. The lucky ones find their way to a shelter. Others are simply left behind. The numbers don’t lie.
In the summer months, adoption rates go down and intake rates go up.
Going away in the summer is pretty much a given. Start looking for a boarder, live-in-house sitter, or a willing friend well ahead of time. Don’t leave it until the last minute and leave people scrambling.
Be prepared that having your pet cared for will cost you. You put away for your vacations. You also need to put away for the boarding of the animals who can’t come with you. Find a young, responsible family member who would love nothing more than to enjoy some independent time while caring for your pet.
Try to find places to go that allow animals. Many hotels actually welcome animals for a small extra fee.
People really need to understand that an animal is part of the family. If you cannot include them in your trip, please make sure you plan ahead for them. Get quotes from boarders, make sure they have room, book in advance, spread the word among your friends and family.
Any trip should factor in the money you will need to spend on boarding your animal.
Animals are not a September to June toy.
Magdalena Romanow is a volunteer at Katie’s Place, an animal shelter in Maple Ridge.