Castlegar to corner cuddly clinic

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
May 19th, 2011

There’s no love like puppy love. Or kitten love, for that matter… and Castlegar’s going to be revelling in both May 28 with its first-ever animal adoption clinic.  To be held at Total Pet and hosted by the Kootenay Animal Assistance Program (KAAP), the adoption clinic will give prospective pet owners a chance to meet the furry family members they want to adopt, as well as providing a ton of information on fostering, pet ownership and KAAP itself. One of Nelson-based KAAP’s greatest charms is that there’s no facility, no kennels, no cages …all the adorable fuzzballs are fostered to real families, thus providing them loving homes while socializing them around people and other pets.  Castlegar foster mom Laurel Mathew (also the city’s top cop, if you’re wondering where you heard that name before) took on a momma cat and her seven kittens eight weeks ago, since the babies were two weeks old… and she’s been loving every minute of it.  “It’s been fantastic – you get these poor little things that have been living in squalor and don’t have any hope at all,” says Mathew, “and now they’re thriving and socialized and soooo loving and sweet.”  In fact, so smitten with kittens was Mathew, she’s the one who decided to make the adoption clinic happen here in Castlegar – she found out Total Pet is no longer selling kittens and puppies, saw an opportunity to partner, and herded the various parties into order …much like she’s herded kittens for the past two months.  “It’s been so fun having them here – it’s really a riot, and part of the appeal is knowing I’m only doing it for a finite amount of time. Eight cats would be a bit much, of it was forever.”   Crazy-cat-lady jokes notwithstanding, Mathew has already helped find forever homes for all but two of the kittens and the mom …but there are always many little creatures in need of loving homes.  Wendy Pope, a KAAP board member, said the organization is currently overseeing 43 cats, kittens, dogs and puppies. A non-profit registered charity run solely by volunteers, KAAP can always use your help, be it through donation, adoption or fostering.  She encouraged Castlegarians not to fall prey to the appeal of getting a “free” puppy or kitten from a friend. You still have to pay for vaccinations and spaying or neutering, which can be hugely costly. If you adopt a KAAP animal, the organization pays for all of that, while only charging a minimal adoption fee that ends up being cheaper than getting all that vet work done yourself.  City councillor and food bank boss Deb McIntosh, who adopted one of Mathew’s foster kittens, would be able to attest to the joy of adopting a rescue-shelter pet – but she’s busy playing with her new kitten Pearl and thus refused to come to the phone.  Pope encouraged people to come to Total Pet between 1 and 4 p.m. to meet the little sweeties KAAP has rescued … and she promised that, if there seems to be real interest on May 28, Castlegar will be seeing more such clinics in the months and years to come.  To find out more about KAAP or the clinics, visit www.homes4animals.comwww.homes4animals.com or you can check them out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Kootenay-Animal-Assistance-Program-Society-KAAP/124789780900221  

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