Community

Finding that perfect match, one cat at a time

A relaxed-looking feline named Casey dangles a paw from her enclosure at the Surrey BC SPCA Education and Adoption Centre, where she’s waiting to find a forever home. As the society gears up for its annual Paws for a Cause fundraiser, we check in with how the new Cloverdale facility is faring in terms of adoptions. It seems a new approach is having big results.  - Jennifer Lang / Cloverdale Reporter
A relaxed-looking feline named Casey dangles a paw from her enclosure at the Surrey BC SPCA Education and Adoption Centre, where she’s waiting to find a forever home. As the society gears up for its annual Paws for a Cause fundraiser, we check in with how the new Cloverdale facility is faring in terms of adoptions. It seems a new approach is having big results.
— image credit: Jennifer Lang / Cloverdale Reporter

It took a few long months, but Patches has finally found a forever home.

The mature tabby was one of the first residents of the B.C. SPCA’s Surrey Education and Adoption Centre, which opened March 1 in Cloverdale. It was discovered after arrival that he suffered from a painful mouth condition and required oral surgery.

Thanks to the generosity of a local donor, Patches underwent treatment, and healed beautifully.

Photos of Patches lounging contentedly in his new home were recently shared on the centre’s Facebook page, where he’s one of dozens of success stories.

“We love posting them on Facebook,” says branch manager Rodney Weleschuk. “It’s just confirmation that they’re adjusting well to their new home.”

Patches’ long wait was something of an exception at the new centre, which combines a store selling everything a new pet will need with animal enclosures for about eight cats, plus rabbits, hamsters, birds and other small animals.

The centre complements what the city animal shelter does by fast-tracking the adoption process for overpopulated pets. Surrey has a serious cat overpopulation problem and is home to what some observers believe are thousands of strays.

Bentley, a steel grey cat with jade eyes and an “owly” personality, was another challenge. But he found a home, too, with a human who understands his unique charms.

“We’re definitely matchmakers,” Weleschuk said. “It’ all about finding the right family for the right cat.”http://webpapersadmin.bcnewsgroup.com/portals/uploads/cloverdale/.DIR288/wRodneyAndTuffy.jpg

Adoptions took off this summer, with 22 animals finding new homes in June, 27 in July, and 21 in August. Most of those were cats, but some budgies and small animals found new homes, too.

Weleschuk (pictured at left) is understandably proud that the Cloverdale facility is keeping pace with the two other B.C. SPCA adoption centres in the Lower Mainland – Richmond and Port Coquitlam – and is gaining on Maple Ridge, a full shelter with dozens of animals.

“We’re really reaching what my goals are,” Weleschuk said.

Success lies in matching the cat’s needs and wants with the adoptive family’s. The formula places a lot of emphasis on conversing with prospective pet guardians well before any paperwork is filled out. “A good match is a forever home,” he said.

The Surrey Education and Adoption Centre property is home to the BC SPCA’s cruelty investigations staff.

Renovations are nearly complete on a barn that will soon house seized livestock. The education centre welcomed its first children’s day camps this summer, and a fenced bunny patch is in the works – as is a chicken coop.

Paws for a Cause

Animal lovers can show their support by joining the 2014 Scotiabank and B.C. SPCA Paws for a Cause walk set for Sept. 7.

The Surrey walk is at Crescent Park, 2610 128 Street, South Surrey. It’s one of 31 community walks taking place in B.C., helping raise funds for abused, injured, neglected and homeless animals.

Funds raised remain in the community.

The day includes a pancake breakfast, dog agility and scent training  demonstrations, and live music featuring local performers. Sign up as a team, join a team, or register as an individual. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m., and the walk begins at noon. Register online at www.spca.bc.ca/walk.

More than 41,000 animals were helped last year by the B.C. SPCA, which doesn’t receive provincial or federal government funding.



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