Out in the cold

Many grateful dogs and cats might be indoors next winter, thanks to the local Humane Society and their volunteers.

Many grateful dogs and cats might be indoors next winter, thanks to the local Humane Society and their volunteers.

The Fort St. James Humane Society is three-quarters of the way to completing its new shelter for dogs and cats, says Kim Vankoughnett.

Vankoughnett is the president of the local Humane Society, and says the group needs another $5,000 to $7,000 to finish the inside of the dog runs they have been constructing.

“Hopefully we’ll have it up and running this spring as soon as the snow melts,” says Vankoughnett.

While the group did finish building their much-needed catteries, the catteries are unheated, and these cats are now being kept in a few different locations, including Vankoughnett’s garage, a heated cattery another Humane Society volunteer has, and foster homes.

Once the dog runs are finished, she hopes there will be space in them for the cats in the winer months.

The community has really helped out, according to Vankoughnett, and the “buy a brick, build a shelter” fundraiser was quite successful, and the group has just finished selling tickets for a raffle sponsored by Northland Automotive.

The group also raises funds by running a concession during local curling bonspiels and on Canada Day during celebrations as well as small bottle drives.

“Once we get the building finished we won’t have to do as much to keep it going,” explains Vankoughnett.

She says the town has been very generous, donating much-needed items such as cat litter and food.

Adoption and donations will all be easier when the new shelter is finished, however, without dogs and cats spread all across the area and drop-off bins for item donations like blankets and supplies.

The group puts out money for spaying or neutering and vaccinating rescued animals as well as their upkeep, which all gets expensive. As well, there are costs associated with transferring the animals to Prince George and Vancouver for adoptions.

The society currently is sheltering three dogs and around 18 cats and kittens, but the numbers can change quickly if a litter of pets is dropped off. Vankoughnett was picking up a six-month-old greyhound-mix female puppy found on the highway near Cluculz Lake the day after speaking to the Courier.