Archives - June 2013

A New Life for Handsome

alexis | June 26, 2013

Handsome before and after

Handsome was trapped on February 24th. Over four months he was nursed back to health by his wonderful foster, Nicole. Thank you so much to Katie's Place who paid all of his vet bills!

Volunteer Janet released him on June 21st. She says, "he nonchalantly walked out of his kennel and was very happy to be back home again. One of his cat friends came over to greet him!!"

Many thanks to Nicole, Janet, Katie's Place, the whole VOKRA Surrey team, the veterinarians involved, and the residents of the Semahmoo reserve for all doing their part to help Handsome and all of the Semiahmoo kitties.

Message from Karen Duncan, co-founder of VOKRA:

The Surrey saga continues. Surrey Animal Resource Centre (SARC) just moved to a new location, so we have lost our TNR centre.
It couldn't have come at a worst time. Over the last week or so we have had three ‘emergency sites’ to do; one that netted us 23 kittens, 9 moms , 7 males; another that has over 20 cats involved; and a third that has somewhere between 15 and 20. All without a TNR centre. The good news is though, that we have been able to partner with other rescues (CARES and Katies' Place) to try and address some of these situations. Relationships between the no-kill rescues in B.C. is getting stronger than ever."

If anyone has knowledge of a garage or building unused in central surrey that can be used for our TNR program (we bring them in there to recover from spay/neuter before return) please contact me. Even if only for few weeks it would help."

If you have a lead, please email:

VOKRA Joins “Pets Are Not Products” to End Animal Sales in Pet Stores


The sale of animals in pet stores has always been a thorn in the side of animal rescue organizations who are working tirelessly to home thousands of unwanted animals every day while people continue to purposely breed more. Cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, reptiles and other small animals are all affected.


Animals sold in pet stores originate from bred-for-profit, often-unscrupulous back yard breeders and mills that are notoriously known for breeding animals in horrific conditions; conditions that would make any animal lover’s stomach turn.


This spring, VOKRA has joined Paws For Hope Animal Foundation’s Pets are Not Products Campaign, a local grassroots group of individuals and organizations whose aim is to end the sale of animals in pet stores. Paws for Hope is a foundation whose views strongly align with VOKRA’s; they seek "to advance animal welfare through education and awareness, community programming and support, rescue and rehabilitation."


Since joining the Pets Are Not Products campaign, VOKRA’s board of directors has voted to take action by declining to work with any pet store that sells any type of animal. This includes taking donations from, holding adoption events with, and all other partnerships. This affects relationships we recently had with both PetSmart and Bosleys stores (Bosley’s is now owned by parent company PetValu.)


We at VOKRA feel we must make a united stand with other rescue groups to boycott these stores until they realize the sale of animals is unjust, inhumane and contributes to the bred-for-profit pet overpopulation problem.


This will be hard on us for the future, as this will sever ties VOKRA has had with stores and organizations who had been supporting us. We are looking for other avenues and ideas to promote our adoptions and information tables.


We realize this stance will affect store franchise owners, many of whom personally share our view against pet sales. Many franchise stores have partnered with VOKRA in the past years for successful adoption days, and the sale of our calendars and other items. We are eternally grateful for all of their past support, ending our relationship with well-meaning and forward-thinking franchise owners was the most difficult part of our decision. To be a united voice and send a consistent message we must end our involvement with all parent companies that sell animals, completely.


Thank you for you understanding. We welcome comments and suggestions from all of our supporters, and hope that you will join us in taking a stand.



VOKRA Board of Directors


More information on Paws for Hope:

Miss. VOKRA !

Alexis | June 18, 2013

VOKRA foster Elisabeth Yoon is in the running to become Miss. BC!

VOKRA foster and Miss BC contestant, Elisabeth

Elisabeth is generously helping to promote VOKRA in the Miss. BC pageant! She is using the competition as a platform to discuss domestic violence and the connection to animal abuse. Elisabeth has studied huge amounts of evidence that shows that violence towards a family pet is ofter a precusor to domestic violence towards the people, and would like to give a voice to both the human and the animal survivors.

"As a contestant, I would like to bring attention to domestic violence, and help victims overcome their depression, fear, and loss of self-esteem. I am one, small flame in the darkness, but I believe that I can deliver this message of hope: Violence is a choice. Violence can be survived."

We are proud to have her support, and encourage you to vote for her here:

Read the original article here

Great article below from Regressive Parenting on On fur-babies, skin-babies, and responsibility.

When Spouse and I moved into our first pet-friendly apartment, I knew it was time to settle down and adopt ourselves a family. Every evening, right after dinner, I’d check the local SPCA website and the sites for every kitten rescue within an hour of home. I would know Our Cat when I saw him, and so, when I did finally see him, we went to the SPCA at 6th and Clark and asked to meet him. His name was Toby, and he was grey. I knew Our Cat would be a grey cat.

I met him, and to my surprise we didn’t click. He wasn’t the kitten I had assumed he would be;
he was aloof, and not interested in either of us. I was no longer certain that he would be Our Cat, and, disappointed, Spouse suggested we keep looking, that we’d find Our Cat eventually. And, walking out the cat room at the SPCA, I saw her. Her name was Bailey, and she was barely a kitten anymore. She didn’t fit into the SPCA’s kitten category on their site, so I’d overlooked her, set as I was on a grey little boy cat. She mewed, the softest, prettiest little mew I’d ever heard in real life, and when I slid my hand under the grate on her cage to pet her little feet, she placed her paw on my top two fingers and I knew that we would be together forever.

I changed her name to Molly, and we lived happily ever after. A little over a year later, I got knocked up.

Molly and I were together constantly. Needy and affectionate, she was always around, either on my lap or balanced on my hip as I slept on my side – unmoving, lest I disturb her – through the night. She weaved herself between my ankles and balanced on open cupboard doors as I made dinner, and slept on every guest who came over. She was, absolutely, our child.

I was insulted when people would ask me “What are you going to do about your cat? After the baby?”

What was the implication there? That animals are deadly allergy beasts? That the cat would smother the baby and/or steal its breath and absorb its life force? That I am the kind of ass**** who can’t commit to caring for an animal after “real life” kicks in?

Confession: I hate-read mommy message boards on places like, because I like to read about how at 14 months, my kid is lagging developmentally behind all the super advanced newborns who can already walk and the toddlers who speak four languages and wake up to bake artisanal loaves of gluten-free bread every morning for breakfast – it makes me feel like I don’t have to try so hard. But I stumbled upon a post this afternoon that riled me right up: “Is or has anyone found a new home for their pet with the baby on the way?” My first thought, obviously, was “f*** you, I hope your unborn baby has an enormous head.” And then I just felt sad.

Your fur-baby is not less important than your human baby. It just requires less maintenance.

When you adopt an animal, you take on a responsibility to give that animal a happy life. If you cannot commit to doing right by that animal for its whole life, even when your life becomes complicated, then you should not have children. (Exceptions include if your child is deathly allergic to your pet, or if your pet is violent or unstable. Then it is your responsibility to find your pet a loving home or no-kill shelter.)

Pets are huge pains in the ass sometimes. When I piss off my cat, she pees on something I love. Every night she noisily climbs our dresser drawer-by-drawer and knocks our heaviest crap onto the (laminate) floor. She steals things, primarily jewelry, and hides them where she knows they will never again be seen by human eyes.

You know who else can be ass****? Babies. Mine has a meltdown every time anyone changes his diaper, and every time he’s placed on changing table, he loses his sh**. He tries to eat magnets, and refuses to eat the organic food I have lovingly made in small batches just for him. Sometimes he swats the spoon away as I’m trying to put it into his mouth and I get a face full of the sweet potatoes I peeled, roasted, and mashed but didn’t personally get to enjoy.

Just because someone or something is annoying or demanding does not mean we love it any less. We have pets and babies with people who drive us batshit with their constant stupid questions about where we keep the milk and their socks, and those nerds get to keep living with us even when we’d rather have our own apartments and our youth back. Right?

There are five large dogs at the daycare the baby goes to, mostly because the woman who runs it loves dogs, but in part because she believes it is important to expose kids to animals, and to teach them how to interact with and respect them. Kids who learn to be kind to animals don’t grow up to harm puppies for fun. Science says that living with pets may even protect babies from allergies.

But more than this, your pet is part of the family. An indispensable part.

Our baby wouldn’t breastfeed, because he was a NICU baby and he adapted to the bottle right away and never looked back. So every three hours through the night I would get up with him and give him a bottle and then put him back to bed, and then I’d sit down on the couch, flip on late-night TV and pump his next meals.

While I sat up in my chilly apartment, lonely and hormonal and exhausted, Molly was there. She would nuzzle my chin and pace across my lap until settling down between where my knees bent and my feet burrowed between the cushions. Her purr kept time with the rhythm of my pump, and her warm little body against my cold skin reminded me of a time when I felt more like myself. Sometimes I’d let her be, falling asleep with her there just so she wouldn’t wake up and leave. She was the least demanding member of the family at a time when I needed to not have everyone in the world need me, even for just a few moments.

Pets are family. And we don’t cast out members of our family just because they are suddenly in the way, or I would be a very lonely lady. Do the right thing. If you’re up the stump and not sure how to ready your pets, your vet, local SPCA or Humane Society have some great resources.

– Emily

Read more at Regressive Parenting

Raffle for Rescue

Grino | June 14, 2013

Sometimes for many reasons, fully feral cats cannot be returned from where they came from.

One of the ways VOKRA is able to provide suitable homes to these cats is by adopting them out to barns where they can be outside in the country with minimal human interaction while being provided with food and care.

Circle F Rescue Society has adopted several VOKRA feral cats and employs them to help control the mouse and rat population in their barns.

Life with Cats

Grino | June 12, 2013

View original article here

Goodbye Kitty Cate & Her Kittens

Foster caregiver and video creator Doug Brown recently said goodbye to a sweet Mama kitty and her babies, all of whom went to good homes. This video takes a look back at Cate and her kittens, and the foster experience.

Doug writes:

“We would like to thank the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Assoc. (VOKRA), for bringing sweet Cate and her beautiful kittens into our lives and for doing all of the wonderful work that they do.

“Groups like VOKRA need your help, please consider a donation or becoming a foster parent yourself, it’s a wonderful experience you will never forget, thanks!”

For more videos shared from Doug’s Drnworb YouTube channel at our site, including others with Cate and her kittens, click HERE.

Walking Your Cat

Grino | June 5, 2013

Walking Your Cat

VOKRA supports keeping your cat indoors only! There are too many dangers outside. After all, would you let your dog wander around the city all night on its own, alone? Then why do the same with your cat?

Being an indoor only cat ensures a long, healthy life for your beloved pet and less visits to the vet. The GVA has a very active urban coyote population that is known to prey on household pets. This, among many other things -cars, human abuse, getting lost- are good reasons to keep your cat(s) indoors and/or supervised at all times.

An indoor only life can still be very enriching. Make sure your cat(s) have a perch to view the outdoors. Hang a bird feeder nearby that they can watch, create an outdoor cat enclosure, enclose a balcony and learn to walk your cat on a lead!

So, what does walking a cat on a lead look like? Check out these great videos made by a VOKRA Foster:

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