Cat defenders Kimberly Feeny (left) and Zeke Sijohn (centre) stand beside Councillor Neil Krog after signing a lease at city hall for the Boundary Helping Hands’ cat shelter. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Cat defenders Kimberly Feeny (left) and Zeke Sijohn (centre) stand beside Councillor Neil Krog after signing a lease at city hall for the Boundary Helping Hands’ cat shelter. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Grand Forks’ city hall leases vacant home for cat shelter

Boundary Helping Hands’ Chair Kimberly Feeny said the shelter hopes to start adopting cats soon

Grand Forks is one step closer to getting a designated cat shelter, thanks to the hard work of a non-profit society and a city councillor who wanted to help neighbourhood strays.

Kimberly Feeny, who has long led efforts to help city and regional district area cats, recently made headlines when she and her friends rescued a colony of 20 feral cats from a rural Grand Forks property. Now the chair of the Boundary Helping Hands Feline Rescue Society (Helping Hands), Feeny said the organization plans to temporarily set up shop at a flood-damaged vacant home they recently leased from city hall.

WATCH: Kootenay women working to rescue 20 cats in feral colony

The home at 6932 2nd St. was recently broken into by people who left it a mess. Meanwhile, the water damaged structure is probably headed for demolition this summer, according to Justin Dinsdale, who oversees the North Ruckle buyout program that acquired the home.

“As long as we’ve got clean rooms for the cats, that’s all we need,” Feeny said, who set about cleaning the place up with society member Zeke Sijohn.

Boundary Helping Hands’ Zeke Sijohn (left) high-fives Chairperson Kimberly Feeny outside the society’s soon-to-be cat shelter on Grand Forks’ 2nd Street on Thursday, March 4. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Boundary Helping Hands’ Zeke Sijohn (left) high-fives Chairperson Kimberly Feeny outside the society’s soon-to-be cat shelter on Grand Forks’ 2nd Street on Thursday, March 4. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Feeny said Helpings Hand needed to move after a ring-worm scare at its current digs — a heated RV outside Feeny’s home. The rescues turned out not have ring worm, but the prospect of having to quarantine infected cats underscored the need for more space, she explained.

Councillor Krog, who owns four cats with his wife Andrea, said he helped Feeny pitch Helping Hands’ plan to eventually move into the animal shelter on Donaldson Drive, which operates under the auspices of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB). Meanwhile, he helped Feeny work out the society’s lease which she signed at city hall Thursday, March 4.

The city granted the lease on the conditions that Helping Hands provide for water and electricity at the temporary shelter and take out liability insurance for the property. Krog said he would pay for FortisBC to turn the electricity back on. He was still negotiating an insurance policy as of Thursday afternoon.

The shelter will start arranging adoptions by appointment once volunteers have finished fixing up the home, Feeny said. The society charges $150 per adoption, which Feeny said doesn’t cover the roughly $200 veterinary bill for cats’ spaying/neutering and de-worming. Many rescued cats need further treatment before they can be adopted out, which Feeny said is also very costly.

The society plans to raise funds through a silent auction via Facebook later this spring, she said.


 

@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

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Animal Sheltersanimal welfareCatsGrand Forks