Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society got an email asking for help housing 20 animals rescued from the Interior. (Victoria Humane Society/Facebook)

20 cats rescued after B.C. man allegedly tries to strangle them

Rescued from the Interior, 15 kittens and five cats are now in the care of Victoria Humane Society

A network of feline rescue organizations came together to save 20 cats from possible death or injury after reports that a man was strangling cats in his home in the B.C. Interior.

The Victoria Humane Society, in conjunction with the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA), Cat Therapy and Rescue Society and the Nicola Valley Animal Rescue worked together to get 15 kittens and five adult cats from a dangerous situation in the Interior to Chilliwack, from Chilliwack to Vancouver and finally, to Victoria.

According to Penny Stone with the Victoria Humane Society, the man alleged to have harmed the cats was able to strangle two kittens and one cat before police could intervene. He was subsequently taken to jail and the incident is reportedly under investigation by the RCMP and the BCSPCA.

READ ALSO: Dumpster to diva: Kitten recovering after being tossed in trash at Victoria mall

On Monday, Stone was asked to take the cats before the man was released, so they wouldn’t be in his residence when he returned. That plea for help came from Angie Koczkur, who runs the Nicola Valley Forgotten Felines Society.

“It’s kitten season right now and I use my house as a sanctuary,” Koczkur told Black Press Media. “I can only have so many.”

Quickly, a network of cat-loving individuals and organizations sprung to action.

The cats were taken to Chilliwack where Melina Csontos, who runs a satellite rescue, transported them to Vancouver. Csontos says incidents like these are far too common, especially in rural B.C. communities.

“It’s very important to shed light on the fact that this is not a one-time occurrence. Something needs to change…people need to understand the importance of spay and neuter because that’s what it comes down to,” Csontos said. “People aren’t spaying and neutering [so] there’s too many animals, people don’t want them and their poisoning them, drowning them or strangling them.”

But these cats were some of the lucky ones. Once they made it to Vancouver, VOKRA fed them and treated them for fleas before driving them to Victoria, the only rescue able to to take all the animals at once.

“There were many people … and cat rescues involved to help this particular lot of kittens,” said Maria Soroski, VOKRA co-founder. “All of us rescues wanted to keep them together and because the police were involved with this gentleman and it will probably be a cruelty case.

“We are really fortunate in B.C. that we connect to each other through what we call, a cat rescue network within B.C. …When there’s situations where there’s so many cats in outlying areas of the Lower Mainland [and] some of these places don’t even have a shelter. They have just little cat rescues in their little towns and they’re overwhelmed. We all know each other and we all help out as much as we can.”

READ ALSO: Alberta woman charged after she allegedly tried to mail puppy and kitten

When they got to Victoria, Stone opened her home to the 15 kittens and five cats. Staff and volunteers are working shifts to help her care for the animals.

She says while the cats were scared, they don’t look neglected or harmed. She believes the incident was a result of mental illness.

According to Stone, the kittens will be up for adoption in about a week and the five moms will be put up for adoption in the weeks following once their milk dries up. A sixth male cat was rescued as well but Stone says it will be slightly longer before they decided whether or not to put him up for adoption.

“He’s very shy but very loving,” says Stone, adding that she thought he must have been beaten up by other cats multiple times. “He looks like he’s had a pretty rough life.”

Back in the Nicola Valley, Koczkur says the rescue work is rewarding but ceaseless.

“I’ve lived in this town 15 years, my phone never stops,” she said. “No body spays and neuters. These things are a living being and they don’t have a voice, that’s where I come in, that’s my passion.”



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
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

 

Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society got an email asking for help housing 20 animals rescued from the Interior. (Victoria Humane Society/Facebook)

Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society got an email asking for help housing 20 animals rescued from the Interior. (Victoria Humane Society/Facebook)

Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society got an email asking for help housing 20 animals rescued from the Interior. (Victoria Humane Society/Facebook)

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows to host live virtual city council meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Mayor Dingwall updates on new initiatives and city staffing

Haney Bypass section closed for Easter long weekend

Bypass improvements expected to be completed later this year

City of Pitt Meadows Launches Local Business and Services Listing

Guide provides info which will encourage and enable residents to shop local

IN IT TOGETHER: Take good care of yourself, so you can care for others

Maple Ridge woman offers series of wellness columns aimed at helping navigate through COVID-19

Historical artifact found in Maple Ridge returned to Katzie First Nation

Katzie chief Grace George is grateful to have stone maul returned

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read