Seventy-five felines getting a helping hand this Sunday

Saving Grace Animal Society is teaming up with Central Veterinary Clinic in Ponoka for a spay/neuter clinic

Saving Grace Animal Society is teaming up with Central Veterinary Clinic in Ponoka to lend a helping hand to 75-plus cats through a spay/neuter clinic.

Organizers say that this clinic aims to provide assistance to owners in need of help with cat overpopulation problems on their property but who are not in a financial position to take on such a big project themselves.

Another goal is to ease the strain put on Saving Grace’s general cat program daily while reducing the amount of reproduction of unwanted cats and cats in need in the area, noted a release.

Through the program, the cats will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated against disease, and they will also receive complete wellness checks.

Other services will include receiving identification and de-worming.

Some cats will return home and some will become part of the barn buddies program or the general cat program where the Society will seek adoptive homes for them.

Among the properties being assisted includes a property with up to 50 felines. Many kittens will be saved from what may have been a short life living outdoors and will be transitioned into loving homes.

Many of these overpopulation situations are not the fault of the property owners.

“Cats are smart, they travel to find food and when they come across an owner who cares to feed them, they stay.”

Then comes repopulating, sickness due to malnutrition, inbreeding etc. and the problem skyrockets.

“Saving Grace is so thankful to be able to put on these clinics in conjunction with the staff at Central Vet Clinic who so graciously volunteers there Sunday to help!”

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Founded in 2018, Saving Grace Animal Society operates an animal shelter in Alix as well as an off-site sanctuary for the rescue and recovery of animals of all sizes.

The Society works with trainers, veterinary staff and volunteers to rehabilitate animals to ensure every animal receives a ‘saving grace’ and an opportunity for a new home and life filled with love.

With more than 3,000 adoptions and 15 major rescue missions to date, the Society relies solely off a donation-based operating budget.

Generally speaking, things are certainly moving at a hectic pace at Saving Grace.

“It is crazy busy,” said Amanda McClughan, development director with the Society.

“We’ve had the busiest summer ever. Our cat program right now is completely over-full – we have a waiting list of cats to come in, and we have this cat clinic coming up where we will be able to do 75 surgeries, but we have 120 on our list to do,” she said. “It’s also really difficult to get cats adopted right now because there are just so many.

“Every single rescue is just so over-run with cats,” she said, adding it’s been a bad year for the cats.

“Our dog program has been steadily full as well.”

There are weeks here and there where there is a bit of breathing room, but we are also finding with the dog program that it is staying at maximum capacity. If we have an open run, it’s filled within the next day,” she explained, adding that there have been several medical emergencies with some dogs as well due to such things as abuse.

In the meantime, there are some ongoing fundraisers for folks to get behind, such as the soon-to-be-launched Gift of Flight raffle with WestJet. Up for grabs is a flight, a hotel voucher and $500 cash.

“That will be a good fundraiser for us. And then we do tentatively have a comedy night fundraiser planned for November 6 in Lacombe,” she said.

“We are hoping we will be able to go ahead with that.

“And another ongoing campaign we have is called our Brick by Brick campaign. We are trying to build a vet clinic right next to our facility. If we were able to do so, we’d be able to get through a lot more surgeries than we currently do.

“That would ease up on our programs a lot.”

For McClughan, working at Saving Grace provides a rich sense of fulfillment amidst the challenges.

“For me, I always try to look at the positive side of things – such as maybe the animal was treated poorly with its previous owner, but now its made its way to us. And we are going to give it a better life,” she said.

“I’m just love all animals. And all the animals want is to be loved. We are also always doing what we truly believe is best for the animal.”

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