Smiths Falls cat rescue back in business

·3 min read

A Smiths Falls cat rescue is preparing to take in more than 50 cats after recovering from a deadly disease that caused it to operate at half-capacity for most of October.

In late November, Furry Tales Cat Rescue shared the news of its upcoming intake of 53 cats from a single home in Kemptville.

More than 20 cats have made their way through the vetting process and are the first guests residing in Furry Tales's newest addition. The new cat facility was refurbished and completed in mid-November following the panleukopenia outbreak that originated from a Quebec hoarding situation and caused one of two cat facilities to close permanently.

Currently, the 27 cats already adjusting to life at the facility have been spayed and neutered and the others will be going to the spay clinic in Brockville next week.

A majority of the cats were vaccinated before making their way to the rescue, to reduce the risk of getting into another situation like the one a couple of months ago where the facility was contaminated, said Furry Tales founder Donna MacRae.

She believes about 49 cats where vaccinated on Thursday of last week.

With more than 50 cats comes an expensive vet bill, Furry Tales has received an estimated cost of over $13,000 to vaccinate, treat, spay, neuter, medicate and care for the more than 50 felines.

The rescue is launching fundraising efforts for the intake of the 53 cats; funds from a Christmas booze basket raffle will go solely towards the food and care, said MacRae.

The booze basket fundraiser will be shared to the Furry Tales Cat Rescue Facebook page on Monday. Each ticket will be $10 each and the winners will be picked at a live draw on Dec. 18.

A new cat sponsorship program was launched on Saturday. Any of the Furry Tales rescue cats can be sponsored. For a $30 donation, a sponsor will receive a personalized certificate of sponsorship with the name of the sponsored cat. People can also donate to sponsor a cat in someone else's name.

Those interested are asked to e-transfer, and leave the name of the cat that one wishes to sponsor in the notes section. People can choose a cat up for adoption or in care on the website at

Donations for the raffle can also be made at the email address.

Giving Tuesday also proved successful, with more than $6,000 raised in one day.

"Our community has been great," said MacRae. "I would love to see some new volunteers."

With the new cats coming into the rescue, Furry Tales is not just looking for funds but also for additional volunteers to help out for a couple of hours during the day.

Despite not having cabinets installed, the new facility is still usable and is working out well. It is equipped with a veterinary exam room and was renovated with sterilization in mind.

"There's nowhere for viruses to hide," said MacRae.

Originally it was expected that they would be taking 10 cats from the house after being asked for help from a Kemptville resident. Through further discussion it was estimated there were about 30 cats that needed to find a new forever home; the local rescue knew it couldn't just take the original ten because the remaining cats would reproduce at a rapid rate, according to MacRae.

"We couldn't leave any behind that were unfixed because you're just emptying a bathtub with a teaspoon," said MacRae.

She said it was later noted that the Kemptville resident had more than double the number of cats than originally estimated.

The local rescue's Facebook page says the admin team is busy planning for housing, adoptions, surgeries, fostering and more.

(Jessica Munro is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)

Jessica Munro, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times

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