Okanagan Humane Society inundated with animals in need as kitten population explodes

Overrun with kittens

The Okanagan Humane Society is finding itself inundated with animals in need.

The OHS has seen a steep increase in animal intakes this year, and the numbers don't appear to be slowing.

"The number of animals in need this year is at a historical high," says board president Romany Runnalls.

"This includes calls from owners that need support and resources, animals in need of urgent medical care and thousands of animals that are being born on the streets of our urban centres. The cat and kitten population is literally exploding in the vast rural farming region of (the) Okanagan/Armstrong/Shuswap.

"We had our first wave of kitten season, and now we seem to be onto another one that is bigger than the first one. Pregnant moms and litters of kittens that need medical support and fostering until they can be adopted into a new home."

OHS says many of the animals are lost, abandoned, or neglected and trying to survive on the streets.

"We have a very efficient and nimble system that allows us to work with the community, our local veterinarian partners, and a host of expert fosters to give these animals the second chance they deserve," says Runnalls.

The society doesn't have a shelter and is volunteer run, so the lion's share of all donation goes directly to caring for animals.

The society's mandate started with spay and neuter services with a plan to help control the pet population.

So far, the charitable organization has spayed or neutered more than 24,000 animals and rescued, rehabilitated, and fostered more than 1,300 animals last year.

The OHS serves the Okanagan-Shuswap and relies on support from the community, receiving no government or municipal funding.

"Our need is up significantly this year, and we are hoping the community will rally to support the local animals in need," says Runnalls.

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