Vet costs pass $500k at Maple Ridge cat shelter

  • Mar. 16, 2011 11:00 a.m.
The shelter’s communal rooms have a homelike environment and outdoor access which has proven invaluable for the animals’ well-being.

The shelter’s communal rooms have a homelike environment and outdoor access which has proven invaluable for the animals’ well-being.

Katie’s Place has reached a milestone, thanks to donors and supporters.

The Maple Ridge animal shelter has now paid more than half a million dollars in vet care for its animals since opening.

That’s the tally after the 2010 finances were finalized last month.

The volunteer-run shelter has come a long way from when a few people looked after a few cats in a borrowed barn and were pleasantly surprised to get a cash donation one day.

In November 2008, they moved 120 animals into a new shelter they’d completed. It has nine communal rooms, outdoor areas, and an HVAC system that uses ultraviolet light to control airborne pathogens.

The new shelter and funding for vet care would not have been possible without the generosity of many people and groups.

Donations are the shelter’s primary source of funding, the only other sources being grants and fundraisers, which come a distant second and third.

Katie’s Place president Magda Szulc spoke at the annual general meeting, thanking the volunteers who give their time to care for the animals every day – cleaning, feeding, provisioning and maintaining the building.

The volunteers are grateful for the kindness of donors who have ensured that the animals’ needs can be met throughout the years.

The shelter’s growth was never expected. A synergy of compassion from the community gained momentum with more people helping to rescue more and more animals.

From homespun beginnings in a barn to the present facility – still homespun although a proper shelter –  Katie’s Place has been a refuge for nearly 3,000 homeless animals over 10 years.

The momentum continues as more animals arrive needing extra care.

A Ragdoll cat named Dakota is now on medication that controls his diabetes insipidus.

A senior cat named Ruby and a kitten named Frasier had eye problems tended to by Katie’s Place vets.

Tabbies Tobias and Miss Mouse joined the special needs room when they tested positive for FIV.

Miss Mouse soon found a loving, indoor home.

The rest have a good chance of finding homes too.

Tobias always greets the volunteers, hoping for pets.

Dakota calls for people to come and cuddle him.

Trust and affection from the animals, many of whom arrived traumatized, are what motivate the shelter’s volunteers and supporters.

It’s impossible to put a price on the feeling that comes from saving an animal in crisis.

It’s worth at least a half million and counting.

– contributed by Katie’s Place.