The Surrey Community Cat Foundation (SurreyCats) is asking the public to donate money and food to help keep up with the demand of cats in need.
The volunteer-run animal welfare organization provides access to free cat spay/neuter to residents in Surrey who can’t afford the high cost of surgery for their pets. But since the COVID-19 pandemic, SurreyCats has seen a climbing number of requests for help—a 25% increase in applications in 2022 compared to last year but a 75% increase since the beginning of the pandemic.
“We’re expected to reach nearly 600 cats by the end of the year,” says Lubna Ekramoddoullah, Program Manager at SurreyCats. “We helped spay and neuter 40 cats in November, and we’ve already processed 70 applications for December. We’re expecting an additional 30-40 applications to come over the course of the month.”
Spay/neuter is the most humane and effective method for reducing the number of homeless cats and preventing unwanted litters of kittens, which has been a significant issue in Surrey. Spay/neuter also provides cats with significant health and behavioral benefits.
SurreyCats hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand and had to put applications on hold several times this year due to lack of funds. That’s why the organization is asking the community for donations to get them through to the new year. Donations made in December will be matched by two anonymous donors, up to $8,000. Information on how to donate can be found on the organization’s website.
But lack of funding isn’t the only challenge facing the local rescue group. The charity also runs a pet food bank that helps cat owners who can’t afford to feed their pets and volunteers who manage feeding stations for stray and feral cats in the community.
“We receive frequent requests for cat food, but we don’t have any to give right now,” says Ekramoddoullah. “Starving cats are at a higher risk for illness and death because they’re not getting enough to eat. That’s why we’re also asking the public to help with our food bank by donating cat food.”
Canned and bagged cat food can be dropped off at the following locations in Surrey:
Pet Solutions Supermarket (10602 King George Blvd or 6447 120 Street)
Fraser Heights Animal Hospital and Guildford Pet Supplies (15575 104 Avenue)
Pet Food ‘N More (7380 King George Blvd)
Mother Hubbard's Pet Food & Supplies (1812 152 Street)
Anyone wishing to donate money to purchase food is asked to indicate the donation is for food. All other donations will go towards the spay/neuter program.
“It’s been another difficult year. We’re still seeing effects of the pandemic, which continues to be hard on both the people and the animals in our community,” says Ekramoddoullah. “People are struggling with financial challenges, getting their pets spayed and neutered, and feeding them a nutritious diet. Animals are suffering. We want to ease their burden. Through their generosity, community members can have a direct impact on improving the health and welfare of these animals.”
The Surrey Community Cat Foundation (SurreyCats) is a volunteer-run, registered Canadian charity with the mission to promote the welfare of cats through rescue, spay/neuter, and public education. SurreyCats humanely traps stray, abandoned, and feral cats, spays and neuters homeless cats and cats in low income households, provides medical treatment and food for cats in need, and educates the public on responsible pet ownership.