These cats landed on their feet — thanks to the tireless late-night efforts of Shuswap animal rescue volunteers.
Chase RCMP responded to multiple calls about a suspicious flat-deck truck hauling a travel trailer on Squilax-Anglemont Road Sunday afternoon.
"Disturbingly, callers reported that cats were falling out of the trailer while it was in motion," says Chase RCMP Sgt. Barry Kennedy.
When police attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver sped up and officers chose not to initiate a chase due to risk to the public.
"With help from the public, the trailer was eventually located, abandoned on a forest service road near Skimikin Lake," says Kennedy.
Kayley Jackson from Shuswap Paws Rescue Society was part of late-night rescue effort.
“The cats were escaping through the rotten trailer. The SPCA cruelty [investigations department] were called by local rescues. The local volunteers dug through the trailer and rescued five cats and three kittens. They were handed to the SPCA when they arrived on the scene,” says Jackson.
Before the trailer was towed to an impound lot, the people returned to the site.
“There were four people left there, myself included. ...It was quite scary. We called it in to the RCMP. It was the same vehicle that was reported to have towed the trailer,” Jackson says.
The remaining cats have been an ongoing project to trap.
The SPCA have decided not to take in any additional animals or find the ones that fell out of the trailer, says Jackson.
But rescuers with Shuswap Paws and Sammy's Forgotten Felines Rescue Society are still looking for the cats that fell out of the trailer onto the road.
“There are 10 additional cats that we have trapped so far at the initial site on the North Shore. We are looking for the four cats that were witnessed falling out of the trailer,” says Jackson.
She says rescue groups were familiar with the trailer prior to the incident.
“The CSRD was trying to help him as part of the North Shore fire recovery. They were providing food for the cats and trying to get the owner to surrender the cats for the last few weeks. He had given a few cats to the local animal rescues, which was again organized by the CSRD, but refused to surrender the others."
Jackson says there have been multiple reports over years to the cruelty division of the SPCA about the alleged animal hoarding.