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Local cat adoption organization in need of support

Joanna Evans, a volunteer at Pet Patrol, tends to the cats housed at the sanctuary. [Sean Heeger]

For more than 24 years, Pet Patrol has been helping cats find a loving forever home. Now they’re in need of help from the community so they can continue to care for the animals until they’re ready to move on with a new family.

The Elmira-based organization has helped more than 4,000 cats get adopted during their time, taking in upwards of 500 cats each year and housing them at their sanctuary or one of 25 foster homes throughout the area.

The organization focuses on bringing in cats that need extensive care from a vet, which “they wouldn’t get anywhere else.” Because of this, they are in need of monetary donations from the community and volunteers who are willing to put in the time to take care of the cats.

Pet Patrol director Jan says after only a few months into 2020, they have paid “quite a bit in veterinary bills,” with more than $5,000 being spent in a span of only four days. She is now putting out the call for donations and asking the community to help in any way they can.

“We do take in these cats and they do well in our care, we do find them homes but the medical care is very pricy,” she said. “We’re at the point where our vet bill is so high that I can’t take any more cats in because I don’t want to add to the bills.”

She says on any given week they can spend between $1,500 and $4,000, and their yearly costs are more than $100,000. Since they are a registered charity and not funded any other way, all funding for the year comes from donations. The money goes mostly to medical costs, which can include vaccinations, surgeries and emergency care.

Jan says Pet Patrol could use more volunteers for shifts to help at the sanctuary.

Currently, they aim to have at least two people in per shift (day and night), seven days per week. They also need volunteers who can plan fundraisers and provide a foster home for the cats.

She is also asking for help from volunteers who are skilled with plumbing, electrical work and other construction jobs, as there is a part of the building that needs to be finished.

“We have an addition here that we built about four years ago and ran out of money … because we have to rely on volunteers, it’s hard to get people of the trade to come out and do this,” said Jan. “If there’s anybody who’s sitting at home – who is an electrician or a plumber – and wants to help us out, we can buy the product but we need your expertise.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic adoptions are still ongoing, but the number has been reduced to two per day. Those interested in adopting a cat can go to the website petpatrol.ca and see the cats available and process involved.

If anyone in the community would like to donate money they can do so through e-transfer (donations@petpatrol.ca), CanadaHelps, GoFundMe and by direct deposit.

Donations of food and litter are also being accepted and can be made by calling the local Pet Valu and telling them you’d like to donate to Pet Patrol. The order will be processed and picked up by one of the charity’s volunteers.

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