KPU hosts cat food drive for local shelter

Cat enthusiasts gather to help TLC Pet Adoptions
By Sarah Emilie Braaten [contributor]

Volunteers came to Kwantlen Polytechnic University to hold cat food drive at two of the institution’s campuses at the beginning of December. The food was given to TLC Pet Adoptions, a local, no-kill cat shelter that runs entirely on donations.

The shelter received a large amount of cat food, and $116.55 of cash donations from the drive.

The event came together quickly, and volunteers from TLC Pet Adoptions collected donations on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, at both the Langley and Surrey campuses.

Members of the community helped advertise the drive as well—the local country music station, 93.7 JRFM, broadcast a volunteer announcing the drive. In addition, the local Langley Times newspaper wrote a brief article explaining when the event would take place days before, which resulted in a number of community members being notified of the drive.

Others helped promote the drive by sharing it through social media, word-of-mouth, and through the KPU announcements.

The shelter, located in South Langley, houses many loving and personality-filled cats and kittens. The founder, Madalynn Gilmore, and her “co-pilot” Kerry Johnson, are always driving around rescuing cats, not only from the Langley community, but from places like Chilliwack as well.

One woman, who needed to find a home for her late mother’s two cats, drove all the way from Merritt just to drop the cats off at the shelter. “Whoever phones up, and needs a place,” is welcome at the shelter.

Overall, Gilmore estimates that she has rescued, rehabilitated, and adopted out at least 24,000 cats. She says that the cat food drive “couldn’t have come at a better time.”

TLC Pet Adoptions began when Gilmore moved to Aldergrove about 44 years ago. She was always a cat lover, but says she “had one cat and was perfectly content.”

At that time in Langley, there was a lack of policies for other shelter organizations, so veterinarians would refer people to Gilmore, and she would help the cats. “My house was full, so I eventually bought the building [the shelter], and that’s how it got started . . . the little kitties showed up at my door,” says Gilmore.

The important thing that Gilmore notes is that, “No matter how much I love them, if they can get a home they’ve got to go to make room for the next one, because there’s always someone waiting.”

The shelter is always looking for friendly volunteers who are willing to do any number of things, such as cleaning up after the cats and spending time with them. They are also always in need of donations, whether it be cash or items such as food, blankets or cat litter.

Although the shelter is always looking for cat lovers, Gilmore explains that, “It’s not for everyone; you have to realize there’s a lot of cats.” Right now, she has between 50 and 60 cats ready to be adopted.

The shelter is also the home to what she calls “lifers.” Some cats cannot handle being adopted after being at the shelter for so long, but that’s perfectly fine, since the shelter has a no-kill policy.

Johnson adds that there are a lot of organizations that give up on cats easily, since the cost of medication for sick cats can be expensive. “[Gilmore] is the only person I know out of any organization that will medicate and make a cat better. I feel that just because a cat is sick, that cat still has a right to life.”


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