To the Editor:
Having read Darlene Wright’s letter about Creston Pet Adoption and Welfare Society, some thoughts come to mind that I want to share with you.
In 2014, PAWS helped either reunite owners and animals or found long-term, loving homes for 83 dogs, 59 cats, one goat, two rabbits and a bearded dragon. The numbers for 2013 are 107 dogs, 36 cats, two rabbits, a flock of goslings and three horses in foster care.
We try to do the best that we can with the money, and volunteer power, that we have available to us. We cannot be everything to all people. We have our limitations.
PAWS does not “possess” a contract with the Town of Creston to be the pound. We can only look after animals during the hours that the town is closed, that is, evenings, weekends, statutory holidays or in an emergency. The town provides a pound for animals found within the boundaries of the Town of Creston, as enforced by the town’s bylaw enforcement officer. For the rest of the Creston Valley and beyond, PAWS is the unofficial pound.
Some people have questioned why we solicit support from Creston residents if we do not have the ability to accept strays from the town. As you can see, we do accept animals from the town under the foregoing circumstances.
Additionally, we accept surrendered animals as space permits when arrangements have been made in advance. Currently, we have wait lists for animals to come to us, and that has been the situation most of this year and most of the previous years. We cannot accept walk-ins. We have kennel space for 13 dogs and space for 25 cats. We also have foster homes for several animals, where animals live that don’t do well in a kennel situation. While we are not part of, or funded by the SPCA, we do have a working relationship with the nearby SPCA facilities in Cranbrook, Trail and Nelson, and all of the SPCA facilities in the world.
But thank you, Ms. Wright, for bringing it to the attention of the entire Creston Valley that PAWS does need more volunteers in order to continue to provide the services that it does provide to local animals and their owners. And I take it from your letter that you want to see PAWS improved, so I have sent you a membership application and volunteer form, so that you may indeed convert words into deeds.
Yes, the headline of your letter was completely correct, “Few options in Creston Valley for unwanted animals”. Thank you for pointing out this important fact. PAWS was created to fill this void to the extent of its resources and provide temporary homes and permanent homes to lost or unwanted animals. If it has fallen short, in your opinion, then I apologize.
For a very clear understanding of how decisions are made regarding the intake of any cat, do come to the shelter for a visit. We will be happy to show you how and, more importantly, why things work the way they do. You can see the cat pad, the cat isolation room, the bathrooms that house cats, the hallway that is home to some of the cats, and see photos of the cats lucky enough to live in a foster home instead of the shelter. Please come and see us.