What we do
Helping Homeless Cats is a volunteer-run organization dedicated to rescuing stray domestic and feral cats in the Greater Victoria area. When we have room and resources, we take the unadoptable cats such as seniors who are not good candidates for the Pound or SPCA. We network with other rescue groups when that benefits cats in need. We ensure the sterilization and medical treatment of all rescued cats upon intake.
We are a small group and focus our resources on finding the best homes for rescued kitties. We support a unique Long Term Senior and Special Needs Foster Program where we place so-called “unadoptable” cats in foster homes where the cats are not up for adoption to others. The cats stay in these homes as long as possible until there is a change that requires the cat to come back to us (for instance, such as if the foster parent goes into a nursing home or the cat’s health declines and needs our care). We provide food and vet care for these cats. We also have standard adoptive and foster homes.
Abandoned Domestic Cats
Sadly, we hear constantly of domestic cats left to fend for themselves, particularly when someone moves to a rental that doesn’t allow pets and leaves their cat behind. Neighbours find themselves with the sudden responsibility of feeding and caring for these abandoned kitties and often building management complains about this. These cats could go to the Pound, but there is a local problem whereby Saanich bylaws prohibit “strays” from being take to the Pound. Small rescues must try to cover the bases because of this unfortunate situation.
Also, among the ferals we sometimes find domestic cats living on their own after being abandoned their human family. Many of these strays are starving or in need of immediate medical attention. We take them to a veterinarian for check-up, shots, flea treatment, deworming, and medical care. We maintain these domestic cats in nurturing foster homes until they are adopted into responsible permanent homes. If a cat does cannot easily get an adoptive home, then we place it into our Long Term Senior Foster Program.
We trap feral cats and take them to a vet for spay/neuter, physical exam, shots, flea treatment, deworming and any needed medical care. They are then released where first found with an established food source. When needed, we assist with lifelong food, water, shelter, and medical care for these cats. If they cannot be returned to their location of origin, we maintain them in appropriate foster homes until proper placement is available. We attempt to socialize and re-home feral kittens and find and spay the feral mother. http://www.pacificanimal.org/
Currently we have volunteers feeding and monitoring a few feral feeding stations. However, we do not have enough resources to do feeding and trapping at any new sites.
Fostering is an excellent way for cat lovers to have a cat even when they are unable to afford the cost of a pet or make a long term commitment. It is a wonderful way for the cat to get lots of love and attention until we find a permanent home. Also, it is a good way to help with cat rescue or to get to know a cat before permanent adoption.
For our foster homes we provide food and supplies delivered by volunteers. (Some foster parents donate the food and supplies which helps.) We provide any needed veterinary care for foster cats and take the cats back to the rescue for prescribed follow-up care. If the foster parent or family goes on vacation or for any reason cannot keep their foster cats for certain time periods, we temporarily take the cat back or find a new foster home. At any time the family or individual can no longer foster, the cat’s health changes, or the rescue deems the foster home no longer appropriate for the cat – the cat will come back to the rescue.
Please see our Forms and Agreements section for detailed information on adoption, an Adoption Application Form, and an Adoption Agreement. Also feel free to call Linda at 778-426-2426 with any questions about adoption.
We seek INDOORS-ONLY homes with no access to the outside (unless there is a sturdy outdoors enclosure or totally enclosed patio and require sturdy screens on all windows.
We request a donation of at least $100 at the time of adoption. (All cats have been spay/neutered and received shots and all medical care deemed needed.) We require that an adopter have long-term stable employment and be financially able to provide vet care of at least $2000 if a medical issue should arise later in the cat’s life and that they be able to afford good quality food. If the cost of food and possible vet care is a concern, we offer fostering (including Long Term Fostering when the person or chosen cat qualifies) rather than adoption. Adoption means permanent responsibility for care of a cat, although HHC will always take the cat back if it becomes impossible for the adopter to keep the cat. We screen adopters to be sure the people and other pets in the home are compatible with the rescue cat. We follow up to be sure the adoption has worked out favorably for the family and the cat.
All domestic cats on our website are indoors only.
Long Term Senior and Special Needs Foster Program
We place domestic cats in long-term (indoors) foster homes with cat-loving seniors or disabled persons able to feed a cat and care for a litter box. Sometimes special needs (so-called “unadoptable”) cats are placed in this program with adults who are not seniors or disabled but who can care for a cat with medical issues. Volunteers and sponsors assist with this very rewarding program. Volunteers deliver supplies and help the foster parent with the cat’s nail-cutting. This program provides much-needed companionship for both the foster family or individual and for the cat. Many older seniors who love cats and are quite capable of caring for one do not adopt as they either can’t afford food and care or feel the cat may outlive them. Our program solves both of these problems. Placement in a senior foster home greatly enhances the lives of both the cat and the senior!
A “food sponsor” donates $30 a month to cover food and litter for one specific cat. A full sponsor donates $50 a month to cover all usual expenses for one specific cat. A sponsor may also choose to contribute toward medical expenses for a special needs cat when possible. Sponsors will receive update reports and photos of the cat they are sponsoring. See the Donations section for how to set up a monthly donation (online by credit card or by mailing cheques). A sponsor may wish to visit the cat.
Meeting the Cats
We do not have a shelter. The cats are in foster homes awaiting fostering or adoption. Cats ready for adoption are shown on our website. To meet our cats please contact us.