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Boundary Helping Hands holds onto Grand Forks facility thanks to help from city council, regional district

The shelter is open by appointment at 6392 2nd St.
Willa the cat is spayed, vaccinated, micro-chipped and ready for adoption, by appointment, at Boundary Helping Hands’ shelter in Grand Forks. Photo courtesy of Boundary Helpings Hands Feline Rescue Society

The Boundary’s only cat shelter is holding onto its temporary lease in Grand Forks thanks to a city council resolution and a ‘helping hand’ from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s (RDKB) Area D.

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Boundary Helping Hands Feline Rescue Society (Helping Hands) recently signed a three-month lease on a flood-damaged home in North Ruckle. Helping Hands agreed to provide on-site utilities and liability insurance for the property as part of its lease agreement with the city, which bought the home at 6932 2nd St. through Grand Forks’ North Ruckle buyout program.

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The arrangement allows Helping Hands to safely house feral cats who need veterinary treatment before they can be adopted to fur-ever families. But shelter volunteers ran into difficulties when they were quoted a roughly $1,000 liability insurance policy, acting mayor Neil Krog told council.

Things got worse when a plumbing failure caused the basement to flood at 6392 2nd St. Helping Hands’ volunteers are meanwhile cleaning the mess left by the building’s most recent occupants — vagrants who broke in and trashed the place after the original owners had moved out, Krog explained.

Would council be interested in helping to subsidize Helping Hands’ insurance? he asked.

The city has leftover funds which council could put toward the shelter without amending the city’s upcoming budget, Chief Administrative Officer Duncan Redfearn explained.

Area D Director Danna O’Donnell suggested that the RDKD could put up some money, given that Helping Hands takes in cats from rural Grand Forks.

Councillor Cathy Korolek then motioned that council cover up to $500 of the shelter’s insurance, if Area D would kick in the other half, to which O’Donnell agreed.

Councillor Christine Thompson seconded the motion, which council passed unanimously.

Helping Hands is finalizing its insurance policy with a local broker, chairperson Kimberly Feeny said Friday, March 13.

“We’re active and we’re here right now,” she said from 6392 2nd St. The facility is currently sheltering 13 cats and has placed seven more in private foster homes as of Friday evening.

The shelter is open by appointment only. Anyone interested in adopting a rescued cat is asked to first contact Helping Hands either through their Facebook page, or by phoning Feeny at 250-801-0519, she said.

ADOPTED! CONGRATULATIONS WINSTON! Winston - 7 year old Neutered maleWinston is a very quiet and calm guy, who likes...

Posted by Boundary Helping Hands Feline Rescue Society on Monday, March 8, 2021

Helping Hands is still in discussions with the RDKB about finding a permanent location, possibly at the district’s animal control building in Grand Forks.



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