First clue - the days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping, and the snow is getting lower on the mountains. Second, the calls are coming about neglected cats and kittens needing help. It happens every year, so no surprise. People are starting to notice the starving cat living under a trailer, or the kittens under the the garden shed, wondering how they will survive when the snow comes and the temperature plummets. Chances are they won't survive without help. It happens every year.
We try to do what we can. If the cats are friendly and they come into our care, we get them vet checked, fattened up and try to find a new home for them. They are the lucky ones. Some come to us too late, too starved or sick to save. Perhaps they are lucky too, as they end their days warm and with someone who cares. Feral cats and kittens are another story. They have to be trapped, and sedated for a vet to check. With so many healthy and friendly cats needing homes, where do the feral cats go? We have limited options for feral cats. Sometimes people are looking for outdoor barn cats, but matching up the supply and demand is very difficult. We also only adopt out feral cats with the knowledge that they will be maintained - have shelter, and access to food and water. It should also be understood that kittens born outside with little human contact become feral very quickly. They are likely to live short and desperate lives.
The cycle can be broken, however. The solution is to spay or neuter your pets, and understand that one litter is one too many. Bones pictured below, was one of the lucky cats who found a new home.
For Adoption or Foster
The NWAS has several wonderful animals available for adoption. If you are thinking of adding to your family, or opening your heart and home up for a foster situation, contact
. Check out our animals for adoption under Animals in Need. We are currently revising our adoption fees for kittens and puppies, increasing the allocation towards spay and neuter. More information will follow.
The Northwest Animal Shelter is a volunteer run organization. We do our best to help where we can, but do not have the resources to assist in every situation. The NWAS spends thousands of dollars on vet bills annually. For the period December 1 to the end of February 2014 almost $10,000 was paid for medical treatments - this includes the costs related to our SNAP (Spay neuter assistance) program. It is rare where the owners are found and able to pay the vet bills, like Griffen pictured above. We rely on the support of the community to continue our work. Donations are greatly appreciated and can be made at the Bulkley Valley Credit Union, or mailed to Box 3064 in Smithers.
Bringing a companion animal into your home should not be done lightly, it is a commitment of years. Animals require regular veterinary care to keep them healthy. They need to be fed nutritious food, and be kept safe and warm. An identification tag on a collar is the best way to get your friend back, if he gets lost. Spaying or neutering your pet keeps them healthy, and helps keep them from wandering. It also helps reduce the number of abandoned or neglected animals, as there are not enough homes for them all.
Northwest Animal Shelter - work in progress!
While still helping animals, running our SNAP program, we will be working on the shelter again soon. We are constructing a much needed storage area, and hope to get the septic system installed this summer. Landscaping, fencing, clearing, painting and other projects are ongoing. Continued community support is critical in our ability to help animals going forward. Donations of construction materials would be greatly appreciated, and volunteers to help out. Fundraising is essential. All animals in our care are vet checked, vaccinated and fixed if required. We also have a mortgage to pay, and other operating costs.
There are several ways to help out - consider fostering an animal in need. Foster homes are essential in our operation, as our capacity remains small. More is learned about an animal in a foster situation, which can help in finding the best fit with an adoptive home.
Show support by taking out a membership, which not only provides dollars for our programs - a strong membership base gives us credibility when applying for grants. Donation receipts are given for membership donations, more information is available under the "Help Us" tab above.
If you are interested in getting involved, we need help with fostering and taking animals to the airport or vet appointments. We need $$ do maintain our programs and develop the shelter property of course, so any fundraising efforts would be gratefully appreciated. E-mail us at
with any ideas of how you can help.
For more information about the Northwest Animal Shelter Society visit www.nwas.ca. Donations to support this project can be made at any Bulkley Valley Credit Union, deposited directly into the account of the Northwest Animal Shelter Society. Mailing address Box 3064, Smithers, BC V0J 2N0.
Have you LIKED us on Facebook or do you follow us on Twitter? We need your social media connections to create a larger audience for our homeless animals to reach people who may be looking for a new family pet - and to help spread animal welfare education including the need for spay/neuter in this northern area with few resources. If we can get a handle on overpopulation, the less animals being born means that many will have a greater chance to find a home.
Are you looking for a certain dog or a particular breed. Please don't buy from a pet store as they usually get animals from puppy mills. Click here to read about what a puppy mill is. There are puppy mills in our area churning out puppies for profit. If you buy from them, you are keeping them in business. Don't be fooled by fancy brochures and cute puppies. Puppy mill operators rely on the 'cute' factor to make money, and their breeding females suffer through litter after litter because of it.
Contrary to popular belief, loads of purebred and breed specific dogs can be found at rescue groups like ours - from puppies to fully grown. Visit www.petfinder.com and do a search. Also, let us know what you are looking for so we can keep an eye out for you. Sometimes we have dogs in our care that are not on the website - need grooming or vet care etc., or that we are planning to ship to other rescues.
Other things we do
- Support several individuals who are involved in animal rescue with spay and neuter services, postings on our website and appeals for food, foster homes etc.
- Spay and Neuter Assistance Program: We work with Babine Pet Hospital and BV Vet Clinic to provide financial help to individuals and families who cannot afford the full cost to spay or neuter their own pets.
- Spay and Neuter education through our posters, advertising, website and quarterly newsletter to members.
- Humane animal education & visits to local schools.
- Pet and health care counseling; training referrals
- Complimentary lost and found postings on our website.
- Provide free feral mousers to responsible farmers who request them.
We are a tiny group of volunteers, most with full-time jobs who devote considerable personal time and effort to this charity, we will do our best to help you with a lost or homeless animal but sometimes we simply run out of options, especially for placing cats. We do not have a dedicated phone number but we check our e-mail every day: