Steinbach & Area Animal Rescue (SAAR) is on an intake freeze for cats once again.
The rescue goes on intake freeze when their foster homes are full or their vet bills are maxed out.
Michelle Neufeld with SAAR says they are currently on intake freeze as they have over 70 cats and kittens currently in rescue.
“Our foster homes are overflowing right now, we just don't have room to place all these cats.”
She notes they make exceptions on intake freezes when they deem necessary.
“We will take emergency situations and little baby orphans. But unfortunately, when we're on an intake freeze, we have to say no a lot. There's no space for them.”
The only two ways to make space for more cats to enter the rescue are to recruit more fosters and adopt cats out.
Neufeld emphasizes that adoptions have been very low recently, which has a large impact on intake.
"For instance, I have six kittens at my house right now. They're just going out for adoption this week. I can't take anymore until those guys get adopted,” she says. “So if nobody is getting adopted, our foster homes aren't emptying, and new ones can't come in.”
As they are desperate to adopt out cats, they are reducing the adoption fees for cats six months old and over to $75 for a limited time. This is down from the usual $110.
“We usually do that a couple of times a year, just to promote adoptions for the older cats,” she says. “Because kittens get adopted pretty fast, everybody wants a kitten, but a lot of people don't want the older ones.”
She adds they are also always in need of funds for veterinary care.
"It's very expensive, and we do get amazing deals from the vet clinics, but some of these animals come in and they're not in the best shape.”
Currently, the main issue is a lack of fosters and adoptions, but there are other ways to help out such as donating money, cat/kitten food, or litter.
"Today, I just went and spent a couple hundred on formula just because we get calls all the time like ‘I found a two-week-old kitten alone.’ We get a lot of those,” she says. “So even donating gift cards to Pet Valu or Best West, that helps a lot because we're always in need of formula and kitten food.”
She says the cost of formula for kittens adds up quickly.
“If we get infants in, it costs a lot of money on formula to feed those babies because they need to be fed formula for 5-6 weeks. So it gets costly.”
SAAR has a donation bin at Pet Valu where you can leave items such as cat food or litter. Another option is to contact SAAR to arrange pick up or drop off.
She notes intake freezes usually last around a month, and as it’s currently ‘kitten season,’ the rescue is constantly getting calls. Neufeld hopes they can end the freeze soon.
To browse through the rescue's animals that are currently up for adoption, click here.
Neufeld notes the rescue also has some outdoor cats needing adoption.
The rescue frequently gets litters of kittens, and the mothers are often outdoor cats.
"They're not the type of cats that really want to be inside. They're friendly, but they just prefer to be outdoor barn cats,” she says. “So we do have a few of those that are up for adoption, but we do require they have proper housing, not to let them loose on your yard.”