Gaming Grants for VOKRA


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

Posted by Grino on September 26, 2011 @ 12:00 AM

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