Archives - September 2011

Gaming Grants for VOKRA

Grino | September 26, 2011

Help VOKRA by Sending a Few Emails

The BC Gaming Grant Committee is reviewing their process to see if Animal Welfare Groups can be included into the thousands of dollars they give out in grants each year.

Help us convince the BC Gaming Grant Review Board that Animal Welfare Groups, like VOKRA, deserve a chance to win BC Gaming Grants.

It's as easy as adding your name and copying and pasting, emailing, mailing and/or faxing a few letters. Here is who you send it to:

Skip Triplett
Community Gaming Grant Review
PO Box 9827 Stn Prov Gov't
Victoria BC, V8W 9W4

BC NDP headquarters
5367 Kingsway
Burnaby, BC V5H 2G1
Fax 604-432-9517
*There isn't a direct email for the HQ, but there is an online form into which the letter could be pasted, here:

Spencer Chandra Herbert

(MLA for Vancouver-West End and Critic for Tourism, Culture and the Arts):

Send the letter to your specific MLA: is the Letter:

Your name Address, etc.

Who you are sending it to Name and Address

Dear ,

RE: Allowing Animal Welfare groups to receive BC Gaming Grant Funding

Since 2009, animal welfare groups have been denied access to gaming grants in British Columbia. This lack of funding negatively affects communities across the province. Volunteer-run animal welfare groups provide care and shelter for lost and abandoned animals; they also make communities healthier and more livable by neutering stray animals and helping keep them off the streets.

Animals play a vital role in BC's economy and in our local communities. In addition to drawing hundreds of thousands of tourists to attractions such as the Vancouver Aquarium, the Greater Vancouver Zoo, whale watching tours, and dog-sledding adventures, animals are featured by companies such as Telus to sell their products. More importantly, animals provide love and companionship to many residents of BC. And yet, the BC government seems to hold animals in very low esteem.

By revoking gaming funds for animal welfare groups, the government has indicated that it places no value whatsoever on the work of these groups. This is an insult not only to the many people who volunteer for animal welfare groups, but also to anybody who cares about animals or takes pride in their own communities.

Volunteer-run groups such as the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) provide invaluable services that positively impact communities in BC. VOKRA provides over 100 individual foster homes throughout the Lower Mainland, thereby protecting very young or otherwise vulnerable cats from colds, distemper, parasites and other transmissible illnesses. In a home environment, cats are safe and well socialized, with lots of love and attention. VOKRA covers all of the costs and provides ongoing support to foster families.

Another crucial part of VOKRA’s work is the trap/neuter/return program. VOKRA volunteers humanely trap feral cats and kittens. Pregnant feral mothers are cared for throughout birthing until their kittens are weaned, at which time the mother is spayed, and the kittens are socialized for adoption. If the mother cannot be tamed, she is returned to a location where volunteers ensure food and water are available daily, and the cat’s health can be monitored. VOKRA also neuters feral male cats, and either adopts them out or releases them, as appropriate, with the same care arrangements.

VOKRA has grown rapidly since its founding, from approximately 150 kittens and adult cats per year to over 1,300 in 2010. VOKRA has become a well-known and respected organization in the animal rescue and welfare community. VOKRA engages in public education using print, social media, radio and television media, community events and exhibitions, and through publications—quarterly newsletter, annual calendar, information pamphlets—and a website (

VOKRA currently does all of this entirely with dedicated volunteer workers, private donations, and bequests. In the past, Direct Access Gaming Grants were made available to environmental charities and non-profit community organizations—including animal welfare groups—from the more than $1 billion in revenue generated each year by the BC gaming industry.

In 2009, the Liberal government slashed a significant portion of the grants, and nearly all funding to animal welfare groups was stopped. The Environmental Groups category, which includes all animal welfare groups, is again excluded from obtaining these grants in 2011. The loss of this vital source of funding has had a major negative impact on the ability of non-profit animal support groups to house, feed, and provide critical veterinary care to abandoned animals.

The impact is worsened by the current economic downturn, which has led to a decrease in public donations to animal-care causes, and caused more pet owners to abandon their pets. This has resulted in an explosion in populations of homeless and feral animals. Without adequate funding for groups like VOKRA, no community in BC can make a claim to being a "world-class" place to live.

Mahatma Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Please restore gaming grants funding to animal welfare groups, and help reestablish the greatness of British Columbia. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely, YOUR NAME
VOKRA Supporter

Pearl Jam Tickets!!!

Grino | September 15, 2011


Tonya Keaton-Thompson!

We are very pleased to announce our next online auction starting tomorrow night at midnight! Visit Our Facebook Page for info- Visit the 'Online Auction Album' to bid -

Win a pair of VIP tickets to Pearl Jam's September 25, 2011 concert in Vancouver plus VIP hospitality backstage passes for after the show and a limited edition concert poster autographed by the band.

The Auction will run from midnight Sept 16th 2011 to 11:59pm Sept 21, 2011.

The winner will be announced at midnight Sept 22, 2011. Bidding will start at $100 CDN. Good luck!

Kenny Pawgers

Grino | September 14, 2011

Kenny Pawgers

The Gambler

Maria Soroski, aka the, Mad Trapper, akaCat Angel, akaQueen of the Night, takes a day off every now and again. This is what her last one was like:

August 29, 2011:

"Murphy's Law: My one and only day to have off and go to the PNE to see Kenny Rogers. I get a call in the am, kittens in a warehouse, gotta go get 'em, bottle feed 'em, take 'em to a foster to pet-sit so I can go to PNE and then set a trap for the mom. I go to the PNE, get dozens of calls on my cell re rescue. Finally get home after PNE (waiting for a bus forever, feet swollen and back hurts from sitting for hours to get a good seat to see Kenny), and get a call that the stray in an alley is there, so get in my van and go get him. Back home 12 midnight. Drop into bed"

The stray in the back alley was an old-timer with dirty, white fur and a few rotten molars who had been drinking from muddy puddles. It may be that Maria has a soft spot for unkempt, old guys who drink in the wrong places - maybe that's why she and I get along so well. In any case, the old boy needed a name, and Maria didn't need to think about it very long. He is now christened "Kenny Pawgers".

Kenny is an old street cat who likes people. Obviously, he had a home once, and he'd like to have one again. He was trying to sneak into apartments on the East Side and sleep in the occupants' beds, possibly thinking they wouldn't notice or wouldn't care; maybe hoping that they'd like him and let him stay. Nobody did. So poor, skinny Kenny slept in lawn chairs, drank from puddles and got by as best he could. Then, he met Maria.

He spent the next day with his head in his food bowl, coming up once in awhile to catch a breath and smile his toothless smile. When Maria let him out of his cage, he would leap into her arms without much encouragement and cover her face with wet, sloppy kisses. He is, she says, the most affectionate cat she has ever known. That's pretty high praise from someone who's known as many cats as she has.

When Maria got home last night, Kenny was sick. He was vomiting foam, dehydrated, lethargic and even thinner than usual. She rushed him to emergency, where he was put on IV fluids. This morning, he had emergency surgery. The vet removed a tumor about the size of a golf ball from his twisted stomach. Later today, he was moved to Maria's vet and is eating, smiling and giving wet, sloppy kisses again.

Kenny is doing much better today, but his surgery will cost VOKRA about two thousand dollars. Once again, it's money that VOKRA hasn't got to spare; once again, I'm shaking the tambourine, hoping you've got a few more of those rolled pennies in the bottom of your drawer.

I know that all of you are stretched pretty thin these days, and I know that I ask for your help a lot.

If you're wondering what's in it for you, I've heard about this nice, old, toothless guy who gives great kisses. And no, it's not me!

Thanks again - be well, friends. To Donate, click here.

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