An expansion is underway at Old MacDonald Kennels. (Facebook photo)

An expansion is underway at Old MacDonald Kennels. (Facebook photo)

Old MacDonald Kennels sounding the alarm over number of cats in care

An expansion is underway at Old MacDonald Kennels

By Kevin J. Sabo

For Ponoka News

A local animal rescue is raising the alarm after being overrun with stray cats.

According to Martine Huijssoon of Old MacDonald Kennels, the animal rescue east of Ponoka and an animal control operator, the phone has been ringing non-stop. Between the kennels and fosters, they are nearly at capacity.

“We’re trying to help as much as we can with cats, but we are running out of space,” said Huijssoon, adding the rescue is in the process of building more space.

Part of the issue, Huijssoon says, comes from the Town of Ponoka.

“Ponoka doesn’t have a cat bylaw in place, which means that cats are free to roam in the town. Every cat that comes in [to the shelter] is basically at our own expense.”

Ponoka does have a bylaw in place when it comes to dogs, and when Huijssoon is asked to pick them up she is paid for 72-hours of care for the animal. With no corresponding cat bylaw in place, any cats she picks up she has to care for at her own expense.

The shelter offers pet boarding as well, which helps pay for the costs of the rescue, but due to the current world situation, fewer people are traveling and Huijssoon says she is getting stretched thin.

READ MORE: Rural Rimbey overrun with abandoned cats: Who captures stray cats in Ponoka County?

“It’s very hard to identify a stray over a cat that’s owned because there are no rules that the cats have to stay home,” said Huijssoon, adding the shelter has upwards of 40 cats with more calls every day.

The shelter has capacity for around 20 cats. The rest are being cared for by foster families.

When asked about the animal control bylaw, Town of Ponoka communications manager Sandra Smith confirmed a new bylaw is in the works and will be presented to council soon.

Town council has given the bylaw its first reading already.

“Following a public consultation process last winter, the town received extensive public input on the proposed bylaw. We have carefully reviewed that input. Based on the input received, the town is drafting new changes to the proposed bylaw which will be brought to council for their consideration in the coming weeks,” she said.

The new bylaw would require the licensing of dogs and cats within the municipality.

Huijssoon says most of the stray animals in her care do end up going home. For those that don’t, Huijssoon keeps them in her care for 14 days, before they are vet checked, spayed or neutered, and then made available for adoption.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

PonokaPonoka County

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Old MacDonald Kennels logo

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

t
Outbreaks declared in Ponoka, Camrose County

COVID-19 update as of Dec. 1, 2o20

<strong>Downton Skating Plaza:</strong> Preparation for the town’s tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 4 has begun, after which the area will be turned into a skating plaza. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
New outdoor skating plaza being built in downtown Ponoka

To help bring some holiday cheer to residents, the Town of Ponoka… Continue reading

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
New record: Red Deer at 236 active COVID cases

One more death in central zone reported

Ponoka Red Apple. (Photo submitted)
Ponoka Red Apple’s toy drive has begun

Store is partnering with Ponoka Secondary Campus’ Santa’s Anonymous to distribute donations

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

A scene from last year’s Light the Night fundraiser at the Stettler Town and Country Museum. This year’s rendition is on a drive-through basis only, but it still promises to be a not-to-be-missed seasonal highlight. (Independent file photo)
Stettler Town and Country Museum hosts ‘Light the Night’

This year’s rendition is drive-through only, but will still prove to be a dazzling display

(Black Press File Photo)
Rimbey woman gathering Christmas gifts for seniors at Valleyview Manor

Margaret Tanasiuk says she doesn’t want anyone to feel forgotten on Christmas morning

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Rock Soup Craig Haavalsen is sleeping in a tent outside Rock Soup’s location until the Go Fund Me for Rock Soup raises $10,000. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Putting normalcy into asking for help: New non-profit sets up in Wetaskiwin

Rock Soup non-profit is a new secular Food Bank putting down roots in Wetaskiwin.

Most Read