An expansion is underway at Old MacDonald Kennels. (Facebook photo)

An expansion is underway at Old MacDonald Kennels. (Facebook photo)

Old MacDonald Kennels sounding the alarm over number of cats in care

An expansion is underway at Old MacDonald Kennels

By Kevin J. Sabo

For Ponoka News

A local animal rescue is raising the alarm after being overrun with stray cats.

According to Martine Huijssoon of Old MacDonald Kennels, the animal rescue east of Ponoka and an animal control operator, the phone has been ringing non-stop. Between the kennels and fosters, they are nearly at capacity.

“We’re trying to help as much as we can with cats, but we are running out of space,” said Huijssoon, adding the rescue is in the process of building more space.

Part of the issue, Huijssoon says, comes from the Town of Ponoka.

“Ponoka doesn’t have a cat bylaw in place, which means that cats are free to roam in the town. Every cat that comes in [to the shelter] is basically at our own expense.”

Ponoka does have a bylaw in place when it comes to dogs, and when Huijssoon is asked to pick them up she is paid for 72-hours of care for the animal. With no corresponding cat bylaw in place, any cats she picks up she has to care for at her own expense.

The shelter offers pet boarding as well, which helps pay for the costs of the rescue, but due to the current world situation, fewer people are traveling and Huijssoon says she is getting stretched thin.

READ MORE: Rural Rimbey overrun with abandoned cats: Who captures stray cats in Ponoka County?

“It’s very hard to identify a stray over a cat that’s owned because there are no rules that the cats have to stay home,” said Huijssoon, adding the shelter has upwards of 40 cats with more calls every day.

The shelter has capacity for around 20 cats. The rest are being cared for by foster families.

When asked about the animal control bylaw, Town of Ponoka communications manager Sandra Smith confirmed a new bylaw is in the works and will be presented to council soon.

Town council has given the bylaw its first reading already.

“Following a public consultation process last winter, the town received extensive public input on the proposed bylaw. We have carefully reviewed that input. Based on the input received, the town is drafting new changes to the proposed bylaw which will be brought to council for their consideration in the coming weeks,” she said.

The new bylaw would require the licensing of dogs and cats within the municipality.

Huijssoon says most of the stray animals in her care do end up going home. For those that don’t, Huijssoon keeps them in her care for 14 days, before they are vet checked, spayed or neutered, and then made available for adoption.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

PonokaPonoka County

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Old MacDonald Kennels logo

Just Posted

The roof at the Bashaw Arena may be redone sooner than first thought, as the town is hoping the project gets approval under the province's new municipal stimulus program.
File photo
farm
Researching cover crop cocktails

A two-year trial is looking at the impact of multispecies annual cocktail blends in the Peace Country

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said growing COVID-19 case numbers continue to be a concern in the province. (Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta announces 1,077 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

There are currently 14,052 active cases in the province

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said the 500 deaths from COVID-19 in the province are a tragic milestone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta hits ‘tragic milestone’ with more COVID-19 deaths

Province up to 500 COVID-19 deaths, adds 1,265 cases

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

The Red Deer Games Foundation has made changes to its grant program as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo supplied)
Red Deer Games Foundation adjusts grant program due to COVID-19 pandemic

The foundation postponed the spring 2020 grant program due to the COVID-19 pandemic

skip2
Rimbey Christian School students experience the joy of giving

Grades three and four students raised $2,000 for Somalian children

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council asks for a mask bylaw to be brought forward for consideration

The bylaw would require face coverings in all indoor Town-owned and operated facilities

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

Most Read