Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society got an email asking for help housing 20 animals rescued from the Interior. (Victoria Humane Society/Facebook)

20 cats rescued after B.C. man allegedly tries to strangle them

Rescued from the Interior, 15 kittens and five cats are now in the care of Victoria Humane Society

A network of feline rescue organizations came together to save 20 cats from possible death or injury after reports that a man was strangling cats in his home in the B.C. Interior.

The Victoria Humane Society, in conjunction with the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA), Cat Therapy and Rescue Society and the Nicola Valley Animal Rescue worked together to get 15 kittens and five adult cats from a dangerous situation in the Interior to Chilliwack, from Chilliwack to Vancouver and finally, to Victoria.

According to Penny Stone with the Victoria Humane Society, the man alleged to have harmed the cats was able to strangle two kittens and one cat before police could intervene. He was subsequently taken to jail and the incident is reportedly under investigation by the RCMP and the BCSPCA.

READ ALSO: Dumpster to diva: Kitten recovering after being tossed in trash at Victoria mall

On Monday, Stone was asked to take the cats before the man was released, so they wouldn’t be in his residence when he returned. That plea for help came from Angie Koczkur, who runs the Nicola Valley Forgotten Felines Society.

“It’s kitten season right now and I use my house as a sanctuary,” Koczkur told Black Press Media. “I can only have so many.”

Quickly, a network of cat-loving individuals and organizations sprung to action.

The cats were taken to Chilliwack where Melina Csontos, who runs a satellite rescue, transported them to Vancouver. Csontos says incidents like these are far too common, especially in rural B.C. communities.

“It’s very important to shed light on the fact that this is not a one-time occurrence. Something needs to change…people need to understand the importance of spay and neuter because that’s what it comes down to,” Csontos said. “People aren’t spaying and neutering [so] there’s too many animals, people don’t want them and their poisoning them, drowning them or strangling them.”

But these cats were some of the lucky ones. Once they made it to Vancouver, VOKRA fed them and treated them for fleas before driving them to Victoria, the only rescue able to to take all the animals at once.

“There were many people … and cat rescues involved to help this particular lot of kittens,” said Maria Soroski, VOKRA co-founder. “All of us rescues wanted to keep them together and because the police were involved with this gentleman and it will probably be a cruelty case.

“We are really fortunate in B.C. that we connect to each other through what we call, a cat rescue network within B.C. …When there’s situations where there’s so many cats in outlying areas of the Lower Mainland [and] some of these places don’t even have a shelter. They have just little cat rescues in their little towns and they’re overwhelmed. We all know each other and we all help out as much as we can.”

READ ALSO: Alberta woman charged after she allegedly tried to mail puppy and kitten

When they got to Victoria, Stone opened her home to the 15 kittens and five cats. Staff and volunteers are working shifts to help her care for the animals.

She says while the cats were scared, they don’t look neglected or harmed. She believes the incident was a result of mental illness.

According to Stone, the kittens will be up for adoption in about a week and the five moms will be put up for adoption in the weeks following once their milk dries up. A sixth male cat was rescued as well but Stone says it will be slightly longer before they decided whether or not to put him up for adoption.

“He’s very shy but very loving,” says Stone, adding that she thought he must have been beaten up by other cats multiple times. “He looks like he’s had a pretty rough life.”

Back in the Nicola Valley, Koczkur says the rescue work is rewarding but ceaseless.

“I’ve lived in this town 15 years, my phone never stops,” she said. “No body spays and neuters. These things are a living being and they don’t have a voice, that’s where I come in, that’s my passion.”



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society got an email asking for help housing 20 animals rescued from the Interior. (Victoria Humane Society/Facebook)

Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society got an email asking for help housing 20 animals rescued from the Interior. (Victoria Humane Society/Facebook)

Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society got an email asking for help housing 20 animals rescued from the Interior. (Victoria Humane Society/Facebook)

Just Posted

Photos from Kelowna’s 39th annual Terry Fox Run

Residents of Kelowna took on cancer in the rain and had a blast.

Kelowna classroom where child allegedly overdosed re-opens after cleaning

An 8-year-old was unresponsive and unable to walk after ingesting an unknown substance at school.

Rockets make cuts to Memorial Cup roster

The Kelowna Rockets re-assigned three players to their respective farm-affiliates on Sunday.

Rockets lose to Blazers in nail-biting shootout

The Rockets came back to tie the game 2-2, but would ultimately lose in a nine-round shootout.

Okanagan brothers recognized with medals of bravery for saving four from drowning in 2013

The two brothers saved four from drowning after they were swept into the rough waters of Wood Lake.

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Video: Rain doesn’t deter Terry Fox runners in Salmon Arm

Dozens showed up to continue the Canadian icon’s marathon of hope.

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Road block was costly legal battle for Summerland

Resolving Garnet Valley dispute took six years

Most Read