Barriere shares the problem of feline overpopulation with many other communities, but one difference in this community may be that a caring volunteer continually does her best to help unfortunate cats that are the result of overpopulation.
Joscelyn Shaw, AKA ‘Cat Woman’, has spent considerable time looking after a group of area feral cats since October 2012. In need of some assistance, Shaw also approached a friend for help with her feline charges, and when the lady heard about the cats and kittens who were living a rough life in Barriere’s industrial area, she quickly agreed to help as best as she could.
During the fall, the two women set up a feeding station, and put together a warm shelter with straw and blankets to keep the cats reasonably comfortable over the winter months.
Cat food donations via Barriere’s Animal Rescue, have helped immensely, but the two women frequently use their own resources to keep the feeding station full. However, their resources are limited, and cannot be depended on all the time.
Shaw says, “Although the cats are cared for, the base problem is there are too many cats.”
Shaw mostly cares for the feral cats alone, filling the feeder and tending to the drinking water heater. She also picks up the cat food kindly donated to Barriere’s Animal Rescue by members of the community.
Shaw says her biggest concern now, is that fairly soon, litters of kittens will be arriving to the feral cats, and the numbers will increase once again.
Trapping the cats has been attempted, but so far, only two young cats have been caught, others that were caught have been willey enough to escape from the traps.
However, trapping and removing them is the obvious solution to the problem; if it can be accomplished.
Once trapped, the SPCA will take them in for a charge of $30 per cat. Unfortunately though, feral cats are often euthanized, because adopting them out to homes is not likely.
Shaw says she is hoping that someone will step forward and help to solve the problem of these cats; and perhaps could help trap and transport them to the SPCA if all else fails.
Anyone interested in helping out, or a suggestion on how to trap the cats and solve the problem, can call Elli Kohnert at 250-672-9387.
Taking care of the industrial area feral cat problem however will not solve cat over-population.
Shaw says cat owners are responsible for their pets, and that responsibility involves having them spayed and neutered to prevent a constant increase in unwanted and homeless cats within the community.