Calling all cat lovers!

Strathcona County is inviting a non-profit animal rescue organization to set up and operate the county's first shelter for cats. They will be accepting applications from potential organizations over the next few weeks.

The idea of ​​bringing a cat shelter to Strathcona County has been in the wider public debate since the late 1980s, according to Strathcona County's director of RCMP and enforcement, Tom Sutton. Unlike dogs, there is no bylaw specific to roaming cats and you do not need to obtain a license.

"It is an issue where cats are identified as either roaming in someone else's yard and causing a disturbance, or there are cats that are found in the more rural parts of the county without an appropriate owner," he explained.

Sutton said the county is spending $100,000 on the pilot program, which will last for 12 months. They'll work with the chosen non-profit to promote responsible pet ownership, offer animal care, identification, and reunification services with the funds. Additionally, Sutton believes the pilot program will paint a clearer picture of the cat situation in Strathcona County.

"It's an opportunity for us to really help determine what type of issue we are dealing with."

The deadline for non-profits to apply is Apr. 15 at 2 p.m. Applicants will be determined by the scope of their agency and the service level they can offer. Sutton said they're keen on finding an organization with an established foster care network that could help rehome the cats if needed.

Details about Strathcona County's cat shelter pilot program can be found here.

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