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Where did Rosie and her puppies come from?

Rosie was picked up as a stray in a nearby community. When she arrived at their shelter, the staff suspected she was pregnant and sent her in for x-rays. Sure enough, she was carrying nine puppies and looked like she was ready to pop any day. She had her puppies in the other shelter but they don’t have the space or resources to care for such a large litter. They contacted us to see if we could help out and just like that, we are now the proud caregivers to the lovely new family.

What breed are they?

Rosie appears to be a Lab mix but the puppies could be anything! One has brown points like a Rottweiler, so maybe dad was a Rottie  or Rottie mix. We have no way to really know but guessing is part of the fun of mixed-breed dogs!

Who’s who?

It’s tricky figuring out who’s who with so many black puppies! There are six males and three females and all the boys are black or black and white. Staffers Lneya and Spencer havPuppy namese kindly put together a poster with names and photos so everyone can put names to the ridiculously adorable faces but it can still be tough to tell if you can’t see their white patches or collars.

When were the puppies born?

May 21, 2014.

How do I adopt a puppy?

If you’re interested in adopting, please call the shelter at 604-857-5055 and ask to speak to a trainer. We are conducting interviews now and will be giving applications to suitable candidates. We will be giving out more applications than there are puppies, so filling out an application does not guarantee that you will get to adopt a puppy.

When will the puppies be going to their new homes?

The puppies will be ready to go on July 16.

Will you be setting up a live cam?

We don’t have a way to safely set up a camera in the area the puppies are living in, so we will not be doing a live cam for this litter. We’ll try to take regular videos and photos and share their development on our Facebook page and blog.

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LAPS is excited to be part of the “No Hot Pets” (www.nohotpets.ca) campaign, created by the Ontario SPCA. Animal welfare organizations across Canada are participating in an effort to remind pet owners of the dangers of leaving pets unattended in a vehicle during the hot summer months.

 Over the coming months, we’ll be spreading the word and we’d love it if you got involved! Click here to download some posters and leaflets about the risks that come with leaving pets in vehicles. You can share these around the community and help keep more pets safe during the summer months. You can also make an online pledge to not leave your pet in your vehicle. It only takes a minute and you’ll receive a No Hot Pets window decal. With your help, more people will leave their pets safe at home during the heat of the day.

If you do see an animal suffering in the heat, contact your local SPCA, Humane Society, or the police. Parked cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures, even on relatively mild days with the car parked in the shade and the windows slightly open. Dogs have a limited ability to sweat and even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening.

 

MilesWednesday was another one of those crazy days, although to be honest, those “crazy” days are actually pretty normal around here! It started with a teeny, tiny new addition – a three-day-old kitten found alone on a property in Langley. Bottle raising a newborn kitten is always daunting – with round the clock care needed for weeks on end, there’s no such thing as a good night’s sleep or a social life –but it’s tougher when it’s such a young kitten with no mom or siblings. It’s not uncommon for single newborn kittens to simply fail to thrive and the thought of losing another baby was very difficult, especially for the staff members who were here when Money’s puppies passed away. Staffer Lneya knew that hearts were still raw and offered to take the kitten, now named Miles, and nurse him through those first touch and go days. Fortunately, Miles took to the bottle like a champ and is determined to hang in there. Lneya is the kitten whisperer around here and the rest of us get to enjoy our uninterrupted night’s sleep knowing he’s in the best possible hands!

Shortly after Miles arrived, a man showed up with five kittens in a box. They’d been born is his barn about a month ago and their mom disappeared earlier this week. The man hoped the mom would return and was feeding the kittens milk and tuna while they waited in vain for their mom to come back to them. Although the man was trying to do his best for these babies, kittens aren’t able to get the nutrients they need from cow’s milk and two were in very poor shape by the time they got to us. Three were still pretty roly poly but we could feel the jutting ribs and spines of the female brown tabby when we pet her. As for the fifth little black and white kitten…well, we were worried that she wouldn’t survive long enough to get her to the vet for treatment and even then, we thought she might just be too far gone.

Apparently we had forgotten that we have a miracle worker on our team. When we called Mountain View Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Ferguson told us to bring them in right away. Foster mom Shannon, who was ready and waiting to take on a new kitty family, rushed the whole group to the clinic where Dr. F and her staff went to work right away. After oxygen, IV fluids, good food and some time on a heating pad, the black and white kitten, dubbed Prism, began to come around. She was going to need very diligent medical care for the next little while, so Dr. Ferguson sent the four healthier kittens (Breeze, Aura, Sky and Rev) home with Shannon and took on the task of nursing Prism herself. Although Dr. Ferguson says Prism isn’t out of the woods yet, she’s still hanging on thanks to regular subQ fluids, around-the-clock syringe feeding, and the love of one truly amazing vet. We can’t even describe how much Dr. Ferguson does for us without falling back on clichés but we honestly don’t know what we’d do without her. She and her wonderful staff have improved the lives of many, many animals in the ten short months that we’ve been working together and we are so grateful that she agreed to become one of our veterinary partners.

Teamwork is important in any workplace but it seems especially important when you’re doing the work that we do here. We’re very lucky to have each other to lean on through good times and bad and to be surrounded by so many fantastic vets, volunteers and our online family. It truly takes a village to save these animals and they are so worth it!

PS. You can watch these guys grow up at https://www.facebook.com/cutefosterkittens .

How did Money arrive at LAPS?Money and pups (14)

Money and her pal, Josh, were picked up as strays by a LAPS Animal Control Officer. Their owner passed away last year and their new guardian was having a difficult time keeping them contained. When we contacted them they decided that they did not want to come pick the dogs up.

When did you first realize Money was pregnant?

Money came in with an intact male dog and wasn’t spayed, so we thought there was a good chance she was pregnant. We made sure to treat her as though she was pregnant – not vaccinating, not treating her ears with heavy duty meds, and so on – and after a couple of weeks passed we sent her in for an exam and x-rays. Sure enough, three little puppies showed up on the x-ray. Their skeletons had just formed, so Dr. Ferguson thought there might be more babies in there. We checked again in 10 days and discovered that Money was carrying at least seven little bundles of joy.

How old is Money? Is this her first litter?

Money is two years old. We suspect that this is her first litter but have no way to know for sure.

Money and pups (2)

Nap time!

The puppies were born on April 17, 2014. We will likely begin taking applications in the next week and will post it on our Facebook page and website.

Who’s who?

The puppies look so similar that it can be tricky to tell them apart, so we’ve put different coloured ribbons on each one.

Peso = blue
Kip = green
Rupee = sparkly white

Do you know why Tuppence, Kiwi, Lire and Sterling passed away?

We strongly suspect that there was some sort of genetic abnormality at play. The other three puppies are thriving with minimal assistance and even with round-the-clock care and supplemental feeding, Lire and Sterling just couldn’t pull through. The four puppies who didn’t make it were smaller at birth and failed to gain weight day-to-day unless we were tube feeding them.

Is Josh the father of the puppies? Is he really Money’s brother?

There’s a lot of speculation floating around but we haven’t been able to confirm either of these questions one way or the other. Money and Josh are from the same property and are the same age, so it’s possible that they’re related but nothing is definite. It’s also possible that he’s the father of her puppies but again, we have no way of being 100% positive.

Is Money a purebred German Shepherd? Are the puppies purebred?

She is! Money has a breeder’s tattoo and is registered with the Canadian Kennel Club. As for the puppies – who knows! They look like German Shepherd puppies but as we say so often, we have no way to know for sure. And of course, we love them either way!

When will Money go up for adoption?

Once Money’s puppies are weaned her trainer will spend lots of one-on-one time with her to figure out what kind of home would be best suited for her. We don’t have a date that she’ll be available yet but we’ll keep you posted.

LAPS staff were obviously devastated when the four puppies passed away. What can we do to help?

Losing four of Money’s puppies was tragic and absolutely heartbreaking for everyone involved. It was a very difficult week for all of us and we were blown away by the kindness and support of our amazing online family. We are so happy that Money’s three remaining puppies are thriving and that we can enjoy the time we have left with them. We know every day when we come to work that heartbreak is always a possibility and although we love and remember all the animals we care for, we can’t dwell on the losses for too long or we’d never be able to keep saving lives. There is always someone else who needs us and we never know what’s right around the bend.

Many wonderful people have asked what they can do to help us cope with the losses and for us the best gift would be for everyone to continue to support Money and her babies so we can do our very best for them and get them started on their way to the wonderful lives they deserve. You can donate online here to help with the costs associated with raising this beautiful little family. You can also check out our Amazon Wish List or our website wish list if you’d like to send something special for Money’s pups or any of our other animals.

Every donation helps but we don’t want people to panic about the costs of Money’s veterinary care – we are very fortunate to have to support of Dr. Ferguson and Mountain View Veterinary Hospital, who have been extremely generous and have given us a massive discount on all their services.

Thank youDuring National Volunteer Week, organizations across Canada are saying “Thank you!” to the thousands of committed volunteers who give their time to diverse causes and projects all over the country. At LAPS, this has been a great time for us to think about what exactly our volunteers allow us to do.

You may have heard us talk about some of the unique programs LAPS offers. All of them, from animal enrichment to community outreach, are only possible because we have amazing volunteers behind us every step of the way. Life for the staff and animals of LAPS would be very different if our volunteers weren’t part of the LAPS family.

Regular exercise, good company and cozy housing help keep shelter animals healthier and happier while they wait for their new families to find them and LAPS has taken special measures to make sure that all the dogs and cats in our care get these little extras. What makes programs like these possible? You guessed it – volunteers! Our volunteers are at the shelter 365 days a year. Not a single day goes by without at least a few volunteers coming by to lend a hand. They may get soaked to the skin while walking dogs or covered in cat hair and canned food while caring for our feline friends but they’re here because they know how much the animals depend on them.  If we ever mention that a particular dog or cat seems stressed or bored, we know for sure that they will get extra play time and some extra cuddles to boot. No matter how much time and effort they put in, when the need arises our volunteers can always find it in their hearts to give a little more.

And it’s not just dog walking and cat care. Our volunteers scrub kennels, answer phones, and poop scoop. They attend events, spread the words about LAPS and help us educate the community on topics near and dear to our hearts. They sacrifice their evenings and weekends without hesitation to give animals-in-need a little love and comfort and a second chance at a happy life. They give up the possibility of a full night’s sleep or a social life to bottle feed kittens and provide them with a good start to their lives. They complete thankless tasks with a smile because they know that every little thing they do truly makes a difference.

From fostering kittens to administrative work, there’s not a single thing we do that isn’t touched by the hand and heart of a volunteer. We can’t even begin to thank them for their unwavering compassion and dedication but we hope they are aware of how extraordinary their contributions are.

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Soda Pop and Gumball. Photo courtesy of foster mom Shannon.

It’s been quite an interesting couple of weeks with Soda Pop, Gumball and their babies!

In the middle of March, our Head Animal Care Attendant, Kayla, noticed a suspicious looking lesion on Soda Pop’s neck. It didn’t look like much but any unusual hair loss makes us think the worst – ringworm. Ringworm is a fungus that’s highly contagious to people, cats and dogs (most LAPS staff have had it at some point or another) so it’s always best to err on the side of caution whenever ringworm is suspected. We immediately quarantined the room they were living in and sent mama Soda Pop off to Paws and Claws Animal Hospital for a fungassay.

Since both of our dedicated isolation rooms were in use (one by a cat with confirmed ringworm and one by a cat with suspected ringworm), we had to try our best to isolate the moms and kittens in their current location, which happened to be our Manager of Animal Welfare’s office. Jayne couldn’t get into her office and had to work upstairs in the boardroom for the entire time that the little family was in isolation! On the plus side, the boardroom does have a window unlike her office!

That was the beginning of several long weeks of gloves, gowns and stepping in foot baths. Every task takes much longer to complete and since Jayne’s office isn’t fully stocked like our iso rooms, if we forgot something when we went into the quarantined room, we either had to remove all our protective gear, disinfect our hands and feet and start all over again, or hope that someone would pass by and grab whatever it was we needed. No fun!

Lneya in scrubs

Lneya modeling super cool ISO attire.

After about a week we started to feel fairly confident that Soda Pop didn’t have ringworm, even though Gumball had developed similar lesions. Both of the girls seemed very itchy and we suspected allergies but until the fungassay came back negative we weren’t taking any chances. We continued to clean and medicate the lesions and after a couple of weeks we got the good news – the fungassay was negative and as soon as the kittens were weaned we could start Soda Pop and Gumball on a hypoallergenic diet to combat the itchiness.

That one was one challenge down but there were more…several of the kittens had eye discharge and had been sneezing. Even though the ringworm scare was a false alarm, we still had to go through the whole glove and gown routine to protect our other cats from the Upper Respiratory Infection that the kittens were fighting. Most URI’s are caused by viruses, so all we can do is provide supportive care and nurse them through it. However, their goopy eyes were caused by a secondary bacterial infection and we could fight that with medicated eye drops. The drops kicked in fast and it was such a relief to see their little eyes clear up.

Fortunately, a little URI wasn’t enough to scare off their foster mom, Shannon of Cute Kittens. As soon as the fungassay came back negative, she was ready to take them back into foster care. She’d be able to continue their eye medication and isolate them in her bathroom until things cleared up entirely. It’s a lot of work for Shannon and we can’t thank her enough! You can watch the whole family on scheduled Livestream events here.

Moira is an adoptable black cat.

Moira is lookin’ for love!

We received some other good news a few days before Soda got the all clear. Moira, our cat with confirmed ringworm, was finally negative! She was ready to come out of isolation and find a family – woo hoo! Michonne, the cat with suspected ringworm, was also negative and after some bloodwork she’ll be ready to go up for adoption, too! It’s been a good week. :)

We also have an update for those who were following our dear little Chiclet’s story. After he passed away, we received over $2000 in donations in his memory. People from around the world donated, from places as far as Great Britain and Texas. Their generosity will provide medical care for Chiclet’s family and will help them on their way to their forever homes and we are incredibly grateful for their support.  Thank you!!

Sad news today…Chicletthis morning, our little Chiclet passed away. Despite everyone’s best efforts, in the end he just wasn’t meant for this world and he passed in the home of Paws and Claws Animal Hospital’s Animal Health Technologist, Jen. Jen kindly offered to take him home yesterday afternoon because we were so worried he wasn’t going to make it. She fed and monitored him carefully throughout the night but she could see he wasn’t going to pull through and she called us this morning to let us know that Chiclet was no longer with us. Jen is heartbroken but we know Chiclet was in the best possible hands and are so grateful that she was willing to risk the heart break to give him a chance.

Chiclet had a rough start to his life but he was a fighter. For those who don’t know Chiclet, he was born in a cab on the way to the shelter. By the time he arrived, he was ice cold with the placenta still wrapped around his little body. We cut and tied off his umbilical cord, snuggled him up with some hot water bottles and a staff member carried him around inside her shirt until his body temperature came up. Kittens can’t self-regulate their body temperature so getting cold like that can be immediately fatal for a newborn but Chiclet was determined to stay with us.

Perhaps because she had such a stressful, traumatizing delivery, Chiclet’s mother, Gumball, wasn’t the most maternal mama and wasn’t producing much milk. Her other two kittens nurse from Soda Pop but Chiclet only had eyes for his mom and refused to nurse from his aunt. We syringe and tube fed him throughout the day to supplement the meager meals he was getting from his mom but Chiclet just couldn’t hold onto the weight. To put things in perspective, the average three week old kitten weighs about 12.3 ounces. His siblings are right on the mark but Chiclet was teeny tiny, weighing in at only 7.5 ounces. That’s about the size of a one week old kitten and was a sign that something was seriously wrong. Thanks to his already weakened immune system, he was also battling an upper respiratory infection with the help of antibiotics. It was a heavy load for a tiny kitten but we didn’t want to give up on Chiclet and held on to the hope that he might bounce back.

Tragically, all his struggles combined were just too much and we’ve had to say goodbye. Chiclet’s life was short but we hope he knew how loved he was. Thank you everyone for all your kind words and encouragement. It’s never easy to lose one of our babies but it helps knowing there are so many people out there who were rooting for him and who valued his little life so very much.

Mama and baby update!

You may have seen photos of some of our mama cats and their babies on our Facebook page. Aside from Sugarplum with TinyKittens, we currently have three nursing mothers and babies. They all arrived a few weeks ago and we’ve decided it’s high time for an update on our little bundles of joy.

Our first arrival was the sweet and snuggly Kalina with three beautiful black babies in tow. After her parasite problem was cleared up, Kalina was whisked away into the home of Deb, one of our dedicated foster moms. Deb diligently monitors Kalina and her kittens to make sure they’re eating enough and gaining weight, and she makes sure to spend lots of time snuggling and playing with them, so they grow up loving people.

For the first few days all seemed well but unfortunately Kalina’s still struggling with some health problems, probably made worse by a lifetime of neglect. She and her kittens have mild upper respiratory infections (don’t worry, we’re confident they’ll all make a fully recovery) and Kalina has some other unusual and as yet undiagnosed issues going on. She’s on some antibiotics now and Deb is taking fantastic care of her, so she’s in the best possible hands. We’ll keep you posted on her progress!Mina, Paris, Carys

Photo courtesy of foster mom Deb.

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Soda Pop and Gumball, our other moms, are a super interesting duo. They’re incredibly bonded (no sibling rivalry here!) and are absolutely glued to each other. Shortly after their arrival, one of our foster mom’s, Shannon, kindly took on both cats plus Gumball’s three babies, so that the happy little family could stay together. Soda Pop settled in and brought six more adorable babies into the world, bringing the total number of kittens in Shannon’s home up to nine. Both mom’s took turns feeding and cleaning the kittens but one baby, little Chiclet, was failing to thrive. While the other kittens were chowing down and growing in leaps and bounds, Chiclet was losing weight despite Shannon’s careful monitoring.

Chiclet

Photo courtesy of foster mom Shannon.

We decided to bring Gumball and her babies back to LAPS, so staff could tube feed Chiclet around the clock until he began gaining weight and nursing more successfully on his own. After their first night back, we made an interesting discovery – the other two kittens, Hubba Bubba and Juicy Fruit, didn’t gain any weight in their first 24 hours back at the shelter even though they’d been packing it on before! We did some sleuthing and realized that Gumball was hardly producing any milk! Turns out all the kittens were being fed almost exclusively by Soda Pop except Chiclet, who’s a mama’s boy through and through. So Shannon brought Soda Pop and her six babies back to the shelter and Hubba Bubba and Juicy Fruit are back on the fast track to chubby kitten tummies. Chiclet is still reluctant to nurse from his aunt, so we’re continuing to tube feed him every couple of hours. We encourage him to nurse on his own before every feeding and we’re really hoping he’ll get the hang of things before long.

Until they’re ready to head back into foster care, they’re hanging out in our Manager of Animal Welfare’s office. She’s keeping an eagle eye on them and is getting torn away from her work every time one of them squeaks or squawks.

Soda Pop and Gumball

Photo courtesy of foster mom Shannon.

These kittens are only 12 of the hundreds of helpless babies that will come through our doors this year. We love and cherish every kitten we care for but we know that there are many more out there who won’t get the care they need. That’s why spaying and neutering your pets is so important. You can learn more about our spay/neuter program here and if you’d like to be part of the solution to Langley’s pet overpopulation problem, you can make a contribution here.

Jace (5)Jace is an awkward and adorable bundle of puppy love. We’re not sure what mishmash of breeds he is but whatever the combination, it provides maximum comic effect – with his long legs and enormous paws, silly little airplane ears and hilarious stumpy tail you can’t help but smile when you look at him.

Jace may be fantastic at bringing a smile to people’s faces but he hasn’t had too much to smile about so far in his young life. He was found running loose when he was less than four months old and when no one came looking for him, his finder brought him to LAPS.

We quickly found out that Jace’s social skills were a tad on the rusty side. And by rusty, I mean pretty much nonexistent. He would bark hysterically whenever a new person entered the room and was very uneasy when strangers approached or tried to touch him. His trainer Kayla buckled down and got to work immediately, dispensing tasty treats to volunteers and staff members so that everyone had a supply of goodies whenever they were around Jace. He was making huge strides in his social development when he hit a bump in the road.

About a week after Jace arrived at the shelter, Kayla, who had been fostering him in her own home, noticed that Jace had stopped gobbling down his meals and had turned into a total couch potato. She took his temperature and discovered that he had a super high fever. Although it was snowing like crazy (it was actually the same day that we were trying to host National Cupcake Day and were dealing with a sudden rush of cats and kittens!), Kayla immediately rushed him from her home in Abbotsford to Mountain View Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Ferguson did a thorough exam and we discovered…nothing. There was nothing obviously wrong and until further test results came back all we could do was provide supportive care. After a couple of days of syringe feeding, anti-nausea medication, subcutaneous fluids and lots and lots of cuddle time, Jace bounced back from his mystery illness and went right back to being his boisterous, bossy self and spending his days cuddling on Kayla’s couch and playing with her dogs and cats.

With his health crisis behind them, Kayla and Jace snapped back into training mode and worked like mad to make up for lost time. Kayla continued to turn everyone into human treat dispensers and polished Jace’s obedience until he outshone many adult dogs. She taught him that new people mean good things and as the days passed, Jace started eagerly approaching people in anticipation of treats and love.

Kayla and Jace were becoming quite the pair when Jace hit hurdle number three. One Saturday, about a month after he arrived at LAPS, Kayla noticed that Jace was limping. By Sunday evening, he once again had a high fever and no appetite Jace 018but this time he seemed to have lost the use of his legs, too. For the second time, Kayla found herself rushing him to the vet on her day off. His joints were inflamed and causing him excruciating pain but we didn’t know why. For the next week, Jace was unable to walk unassisted. Kayla carried him outside every hour or two and held him up so he could go to the bathroom. He took comfort from being close to her, so she packed him everywhere and set up his bed right next to her desk.

Although his bloodwork was abnormal for a puppy his age, nothing pointed conclusively to one disease or another – so frustrating! We suspect he might be suffering from HOD, a bone disease that typically affects large, fast growing breeds of dogs but is rare in smaller dogs like Jace. Thankfully, he’s walking again and is almost back to his normal self, although he is still on pain killers to help with his sore joints. The good news is that if it is HOD, Jace will outgrow it and should be able to live a normal life after such a rocky start. Dr Ferguson has been incredibly generous and has provided much of Jace’s treatment at no cost but his medical bills are still adding up. If you have a couple of dollars to spare, any contributions towards Jace’s care would be hugely appreciated. You can click here to make a safe and secure donation for Jace. We’re really hoping that the worst is over but we want to be prepared in case he has any more emergencies. We’ll keep you posted on his progress – the little guy deserves smooth sailing from here on out!

PS. The boy is accident prone! A few days ago, Jace was playing and managed to poke himself in the eye. He’s now on medication for that, too…no permanent damage but does he ever need to learn to be careful!

Or maybe IKalina and babies (10) edited should say, when it snows it storms? On Monday, we were in the midst of what would probably be considered a snow storm for us wimpy West Coasters. It had been snowing for days and was still coming down but here at LAPS we had other things on our minds. As you’ve probably heard, February 24 was National Cupcake Day. We were on track to raise thousands of dollars for animals in need and Shelly of TinyKittens had arranged for us to do live broadcasts on the TinyKittens Livestream feed. We managed to hook up with Shelly for one live update but our brand new webcam wasn’t working properly, thanks to some suspicious looking puppy-sized tooth marks.

During a frustrating attempt at a second live broadcast, a mama cat with three sweet little babies arrived. The poor girl was painfully thin with jutting hipbones and sunken eyes. According the woman who surrendered her, she hadn’t eaten in days and was vomiting blood. All three kittens were chubby, bright-eyed and perky, so whatever energy the mama had left was obviously going to nourish her babies.

We immediately rushed her to the good folks at Paws and Claws Animal Hospital, one of our partner vets, who felt that she was mostly likely full of nasty parasites, which had brought her digestive system to a grinding halt. A serious dose of de-worming medication would likely get her back on track, so we headed back to the shelter to start her treatment plan.

By the time we got mama and babies, now known as Kalina, Carys, Mina and Paris, back to the shelter another stray cat had shown up. She was a rack of bones and covered in painful mats but nothing could suppress her cheery personality. We named her Madam and fell in love immediately. Before Madam’s intake was complete, another addition showed up, this time a fluffy black beauty named Marilyn.

We’re a little short of space right now because the flooring in our Cat Cottage is being redone, so with six new cats and nowhere to put them, we had to get a little creative. A flurry of cleaning and disinfecting commenced and in no time we had set up comfy digs for everyone in our offices and boardroom.

After such a busy Monday, you’d think Tuesday would slow down a bit but the adventures continued. We get a lot of strange phone calls but I don’t think we’ve ever had someone call us to say that they were sending us two pregnant cats in a cab (ironically, it just happened to be World Spay Day). Oh yeah, and one of the cats was actually giving birth as the caller spoke!

We were a little skeptical but sure enough, a cab pulled up about 20 minutes later. In the backseat, we discovered a large box and a gym bag. We brought them into our training room, edged the zipper back and a cream coloured cat erupted out. Judging by her bulging sides, she wasn’t too far from her due date but it was her sister in the cardboard box who’d already produced two kittens on the cab ride over (having babies in a cab – even cats fall victim to clichés!). We let the mom-to-be relax while we dealt with the terrified and desperate new mother. She understandably hadn’t cleaned her babies so we had our first experience cleaning off the placenta and cutting and tying the cords. Fortunately, the program coordinator from our boarding and training centre used to work in a vet clinic and did the actual snipping and tying. The tiny newborns were ice cold, so we nestled them together with some heating pads until their mom was calm enough to care for them. We got the sisters, Soda Pop and Gumball, set up in cozy dens in our grooming room and gradually Gumball relaxed and began nursing her babies.

We assumed she was done giving birth but to our surprise, we discovered a third kitten when we checked on her a short while later! She had done a great job cleaning this baby, so clearly she gave her new home the thumbs up.

We’re still waiting on Soda Pop’s babies but right now all the little families plus our adult additions are doing great. We had a couple of crazy days but they were a great reminder that you need to be prepared for anything when you’re working in animal welfare!

Kalina and babies (12) edited Gumball and Soda Pop arrive in Taxi (3)Gumball and kittens (2)