Archives - July 2013

Did you know....

Grino | July 31, 2013

View original article here

VOKRA continuously gets calls about folks in desperation because their cat is about to die after being exposed to a flea product, like Hartz, that they bought at a store and applied to their cat thinking it was safe. After all, this products says it is for cats. How on earth could something that would potentially kill a pet be allowed to be sold? Truth is, these products contain ingredients that are toxic to cats and dogs and kill pets on a regular basis, and VOKRA hears about it all the time.

When your cat or dog has fleas, go to your vet and get the proper medication! Spending the extra cash will save your pets life.

Here is a great blog below explaining in greater detail about these deadly products, what you can do to help.

I encourage you to read the comments under the original article to get a feel for what these products really do. It is a sad, sad story that needs to be heard.

Bad News for Hartz = Good News for Pets

August 19, 2009 at 1:02 am

Mad Cat

More bad press for the companies peddling pet poison!

Over the years,, which specializes in collecting and investigating consumer complaints, has amassed enough complaints about Hartz, Sergeant’s, and Sentry flea and tick products to fill the Grand Canyon. And recently, they put together a thoroughly researched and well written article that you should read, re-read, send to your friends, your vet, your pet groomer, your dog walker, your pet sitter, your Aunt Mary, and everyone else you know.

The piece describes the atrocities committed by Hartz et al, who make and sell products that they know are unsafe. It also discusses the failure of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove these products from shelves, despite receiving thousands upon thousands of reports of adverse reaction and death in animals treated with the products.

How You Can Help

Grino | July 28, 2013

***Please be advised, these are graphic pictures***

VOKRA volunteers encounter so many different situations when rescuing kittens and cats in the GVA. They just never know what to expect - folks grateful for the help, or refusing VOKRA help, 20 cats instead of 3 to be trapped, a skunk living under a porch instead of kitten. Just the other day, one of our trappers showed up to a home to help, just to encounter a swat team at that very home! No, not for her!

Below is pictured Meiho: a friendly stray caught just in time in the GVA. He had a horrible abscess under his chin that would have surely killed him if not treated by our fantastic vets at Killarney Animal Hospital

See his lovely before and after pics below. Do not worry! He is happy and healthy and recovering from surgery now.

All the kittens and cats VOKRA rescues rely on your donations. Meiho's vet costs will be huge, ranging in the high hundreds area. 100% of your donations go to the cats. See our 2012 Financials here.

Please donate, even a few dollars does help us!

Also, find out ways to donate for *free* to VOKRA.

There are many - gift cards, Canadian Tire money, click here for more options.

Meiho is now much happier and healthy!!


Grino | July 26, 2013

Check out VOKRA TV on YouTube.

Regular fantastic videos from our various fosters and tonnes of information on kittens, cats, fostering, introducing a new cat at home, to kids and other pets as well as taming feral info.

Fostering For VOKRA

Grino | July 22, 2013

Wondering what it is like to foster for VOKRA?

Well, VOKRA supplies all the litter, food, beds, scratch posts, toys - everything you may need.
You supply the kitty cuddles, love and a warm, safe, foster home.

Check out "The First Kittypocalypse on LiveStream" of a VOKRA foster family and see how easy it really is to foster!

Ruby & Sapphire

Grino | July 18, 2013

VOKRA has grown to help over 1800 kittens and cats per year. It is your donations that help us - please donate via paypal, give for free or volunteer! Everything helps.

Where does your donation go? Below is one of hundreds of rescue stories.

Follow along as these two sisters, Ruby and Sapphire, give birth and them and their kittens find forever homes to stop the endless cycle of homeless kittens and cats (of course, each one will be spayed and neutered too!) These two kitties are such a bonded pair. They eat, sleep, snuggle together all the time. And get pregnant at the same time too! They share a very special bond.

Here is their story as told by one of our very dedicated fosters, Donna Maria B. Subscribe to her YouTube channel to follow the sister's story:

So Mickey [VOKRA Foster Cordinator] calls me and says, "Are you up for a challenge?" Hmmm... about 10 emails later I have picked up twin calico sisters who are both pregnant and who fit very neatly in my Kitty Nursery.

This is Ruby and Sapphire, who are Twin Sisters and who are both PREGNANT. Ruby is due any day now, then Sapphire in a week or so. Here they are in the car on their way from Abbotsford to their new foster home in Squamish. It is here that they will live and be deeply loved and cared for by myself while they have their kittens. They will nurse and care for their kittens until they are weaned and are fully litter trained which takes about eight weeks. At that time they will be transferred to Vancouver where the will be placed with other VOKRA fosters that will help meticulously find and match them to "Forever Homes."

Since Sapphire and Ruby are bonded from their birth they will be kept together.

Two gems in my back seat and I have named them Ruby and Sapphire.
Click on the picture to watch the video!

Still waiting.... Look at this belly!
Click on the picture to watch a video.

We have babies!!

It's too hot to wear a coat!!!!! This is "Uno," Ruby's firstborn, 2 days old.
It was 32 degrees today in Squamish.

These kitties are healthy and happy and loving the cooler weather!
Here they are at 3 days old!
Click on the picture to watch a video!

Here is a video summarizing the whole event.
Click on the picture to watch the video.
These sisters are incredible, comforting one another and helping with labour.
****Warning! It is birth so it is graphic and educational:

We are still waiting for Sapphire to give birth to her kittens.

And then she Finally did! Click here to watch a video.

Please consider fostering for VOKRA!

Registration is now open for the Walk for the Kitties!

Come join us September 22, 2013 at 10 am at Jericho Beach... rain or shine!

Walk with teams representing some of the exceptional VOKRA spokeskitties - each one representing an area of VOKRA activity. Read their stories here...

Help us reach our goal of $50,000. We can do it with your help!

Gather donations and show your continued support of the work done to help homeless cats and kittens in the Lower Mainland.

Eventbrite - VOKRA's 4th Annual Walk for the Kitties

T Shirt Design Contest

alannah | July 12, 2013

Enter Your Original Design and Help the Kitties

VOKRA T-shirts are one of our most popular fundraising items. The creator of the winning T-shirt design will receive attribution on the printed shirt and public recognition on the VOKRA website and Facebook page. Your winning design will also be worn by hundreds of participants on September 22nd at this year's Walk for the Kitties.

Contest closes August 7, 2013

More details and contest rules here

We can't wait to see your entries!

From Cruelty & Neglect to a Happy Forever Home?

Barbara Mount-Poulsen | July 8, 2013

After getting a call about a kitten stuck on a rooftop, VOKRA successfully trapped and rescued a terrified, emaciated little cat who appeared to be about 6 months old. Her long fur was dull, matted and deeply stained with urine. A physical exam revealed symptoms of a cat that had been kept in a cage; dulled teeth from chewing on metal bars, hunched posture from lack of movement, dark yellow-stained fur from living in her own urine and feces, and emaciation from poor diet. She had scars on her back, her tail had been shaved, and some of her fur had been chopped off unevenly. It was obvious this poor little kitty had suffered neglect and abuse, she was in a really sad state.

Robin before:
Robin Before

Thanks to her ear tattoo, VOKRA was able to contact the vet where she was spayed and learned her name was Robin and she was actually a year and a half old. When her owner couldn't be located, VOKRA placed Robin in a foster home to regain her trust of humans, gain weight and learn to be happy, healthy kitty.

At first Robin was extremely hand-shy and timid. Despite her long fur she was always cold because she was so thin. She didn't seem interested in grooming herself. She vomited enormous fur-balls and it took her a while to accept a nutrition-rich quality diet.

In the month since her rescue, Robin has proved to be a sweet, playful, dainty little kitty. Once you've gained her trust she begins to show her lovely personality.

Most of her dead fur has fallen out revealing a soft, silky long coat. She's putting on weight and has been grooming herself. Her pretty white fur is losing it's yellow stain. Although she's still a little nervous, every single day she becomes more affectionate and shows she really loves people. She loves to play with a toy on a string and will run and jump high to catch it. Although she's still a little tentative, she enjoys snuggling up with me on the armchair.

Robin after:
Robin after

Robin doesn't enjoy being picked up for more than a few seconds and although she enjoys head and chin scratches, she's still getting used to being petted on her back and sides. When she feels over stimulated or fearful she'll put her mouth or paw on me as if to bite or scratch but she's never actually done so. Her behaviour is improving as she learns to trust humans again.

Robin is a tidy cat with excellent litter-box and food dish manners. She's actually the most neat & clean kitty we've ever fostered, she's a real pleasure!

After everything she's been through, Robin deserves a stable, quiet, adult only home with experienced cat owners. She would likely accept a young male kitty with a gentle, soft disposition as a companion but ideally would be an only pet.

Why We Help Feral Cats

Grino | July 1, 2013

View original article here.
Thank you to

So, Why Should We Help Feral Cats . . . ?
By Lana Simon

Well, if you have even one ounce of compassion in your body you already know the answer! You can stop reading this article now if you want. And . . THANK YOU . . for your kind-heartedness. You make the world a better place.

There are some, however, who need to know the pragmatic reasons for investing any dollars or time in assisting feral cat work and we can supply those answers right here! The proven and successful practice of TRAP/NEUTER/RETURN (“TNR”) means a ‘win win’ situation for any community that embraces TNR. How? you ask.

There are very valid reasons why we should, as a community, support TNR and those caregivers who comb the back alleys and industrial areas, and help in residential neighbourhoods when feral cats and kittens have been noticed. Almost every municipality in BC has an ‘animal control category’ in its municipal budget, a line item that the municipality earmarks for enforcing bylaws governing animals in the community such as stray dogs (and sometimes but not always, cats), enforcing ‘on leash’ parks and trails, investigating barking dog complaints, issuing dog licences, and picking up dead animals from the municipal streets. Some municipalities have also budgeted for ‘animal welfare’ and have a municipal shelter but many have not. ‘Animal control’ and ‘animal welfare’ have two separate and distinct agendas.

If your municipality operates a shelter and accepts stray and surrendered cats, then taxpayers of a municipality are funding that facility. If the number of cats and kittens increases each year, that municipal animal budget may also require an increase to cover the costs of spaying/neutering, vaccines, litter, medical care, euthanasia and disposal costs, kennel staff, and building
maintenance. TNR significantly and beneficially impacts the number of feral kittens and cats being surrendered to shelters by REDUCING (humanely) the numbers being born on the street and surrendered to municipal shelters. Lower intake for the shelter = lower costs for
the municipal budget.

The business case results for a community practicing TNR:

1. Fewer numbers of feral kittens born on the street;
2. Fewer numbers of feral kittens being surrendered to municipal
pounds and shelters;
3. Less overcrowding at shelters, reducing disease and spay/neuter
& vaccine costs;
4. Less killing of cats because of no kennel space (‘genuine
euthanasia is a medical decision and is always done in an individual
animal’s best interest’. Killing for space is NOT euthanasia*.);
5. Less lethal drug and disposal costs because no killing for
overcrowding or because the cat is feral;
6. More shelter staff time and resources for existing cats, dogs, and
other animals - ie. Dog walking, grooming, adoptions, fundraising
7. Fewer complaint calls for municipal shelter staff.

The compassionate case results for a community practicing TNR:

1. Feral cats living in a community receiving assistance
from feral cat advocates who trap the cats, have them
spayed or neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, defleaed,
and tattooed. They are returned to their habitat location
but are now healthier and not endlessly reproducing.
2. Residents often working together to make shelters
and create feeding schedules in the neighbourhood.
3. Greater community and volunteer support.

Killing feral cats is ‘control’ and TNR is ‘welfare’. Communityand volunteer support is much more likely if compassionis displayed.

As more concrete evidence is presented that the grassroot feral cat rescue groups are indeed having a positive effect in humanely reducing the feral cat numbers to the benefit of communities, the large animal organizations in the USA and Canada are recognizing and acknowledging the practice of TNR.

Did you know that:

Organic farmers list feral cats under their rodent control methods when registering with the United States Dept. of Agriculture. (Source – from Alley Cat Allies)

It is a proven fact that cats are unmatched when it comes to controlling rat infestations. The “greening” of any city must include . . . using [feral] cats as a protocol and removing “pest control” poisons from our streets and businesses. . . It is time city hall acknowledges that the feral cat is a benefit and wonderful natural resource that protects the health of our communities and the environment at large." (Source – City Ferals promotes environmentaly friendly felines by Lisa Warren – Best Friends Magazine – Sept/Oct 2010)

Municipalities should earmark a portion of their animal control budget for TNR and partner with local TNR groups. It’s a positive step that is long overdue. Kittens from a feral mom – off the street to be adopted and now not adding to the overpopulation.

Here is a video of a TNR release from VOKRA:

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