Delta Community Animal Shelter manager Sarah Jones

The whole kitten kaboodle

The Delta Community Animal Shelter is ready to pounce on cat breeding season.

Several weeks ago, a strange noise came from a strange place in rural Delta.

Staffers from the Delta Community Animal Shelter (DCAS) were trapping feral cats for their trap-neuter-release (TNR) program when they heard meowing coming from the inside of an old-fashioned metal milk jug.

When one of them had a look inside, a wild cat jumped out, narrowly missing the face of the curious human, and disappeared.

At the bottom of the basin were six helpless kittens.

Taken to the shelter, they were nursed by a cat named Floria before they were happily adopted out.

“She had babies herself, and they had just weaned, so we were lucky,” says shelter manager Sarah Jones. “She’s just lovely.”

Leave it to further serendipity to have the eye of an annual hurricane – no kittens at the shelter – on the first anniversary of the day the staff moved into the new Delta Community Animal Shelter in Tilbury Industrial Park.

It’s an anomaly, says Jones.

“It’s going to change any minute.”

UPDATE: As of May 26, the shelter has four nursing moms and 30 kittens.

Every year, she explains, in the spring and summer, there are two waves of cat breeding by un-fixed cats that keeps shelters swamped with critters needing help and adoption.

“During the summer months we have anywhere from 50-90 cats in the shelter.”

It’s also the season she wants to drive home the message of responsible pet ownership.

Photo at left: Pandora.

Spaying and neutering isn’t just good for population control, but improves the health and behaviour of cats.

She gives examples: Neutered male cats who go outside are less likely to get into fights, and less likely to contract diseases related to fighting.

Spaying female cats before their first heat cycle also makes later surgery less complicated, and reduces long-term stress for the cat.

“That howling cat that you hear at night, it’s usually a girl (seeking a mate),” says Jones.

Fixed cats are also provided with permanent IDs so they can be easily returned to their owners (cat return rates are about 10 per cent, while it’s 95 per cent for dogs.)

For those seeking cats, the DCAS makes adoption easy with a colour-coded matching system.

Adult cats brought into the shelter are tested for their “felineality” (their feline personality) and given a place on a colour chart based on how valiant, independent and social they are (including with other animals and kids).

A purple “private investigator,” for example, is shy and often just keeps humans under surveillance; an orange “sidekick” is just plain good company; and green “party animal” loves to play, and will make a toy out of anything.

Potential adopters are asked about their household (Is it a library? A carnival?), how they feel about having their ankles chased, or how much they want to hold their cat.

Talking to potential adopters and using the matchmaking program makes for a more interactive evaluation process rather than just filling out forms, says Jones.

“It helps us a lot and reduces returns, because we know what you’re expecting, and we know what you want to match for your lifestyle.

“It’s also fun. It’s exciting when you’re adopting a cat.”

The Delta Community Animal Shelter is located at 7505 Hopcott Rd. The shelter is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and weekends from 12-4 p.m. Adoption viewing hours are weekdays from 12-5 p.m. and weekends from 12-4 p.m. Animals available for adoptions are viewable online.


For more information, call 604-940-7111, email or visit




Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil Forfeiture Office alleges Crescent Beach home used to launder money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

Surrey firefighters battle a house fire near the 70A Avenue and 126A Street intersection early Sunday morning. According to a witness, it appears that the occupants were able to get out without injury. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Fire causes extensive damage to Surrey home

Occupants able to escape without injury: witness

Preliminary results indicate a Surrey-Cloverdale win for the NDP’s Mike Starchuk. (File)
Mike Starchuk leading Marvin Hunt in Surrey Cloverdale

MAP: B.C. provincial election results for Surrey-Cloverdale

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Most Read