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Cat Lovers Rescue group

cat lovers logo Sheltering Unwanted Cats at Cat Lovers Rescue

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In St-Anicet, a remote town located about 70 kilometres southwest of Montreal, there’s a cat shelter dedicated to saving the lives of abandoned felines.

Cat Lovers Rescue Group is run by Nathalie Pinel who has spent most of her adult life harbouring unwanted cats. Her shelter is dedicated to saving and rehoming abandoned cats, who wind up here as a last resort. This is their last stop before being put down.

The cats are abandoned by people who can no longer keep them at home for a variety of reasons, including moving, landlord issues, financial, too much responsibility, and change in family situation. The number of cats in shelters peaks in the summer, when people move and give up their pets.

The problem is made worse by uncertified breeders who breed kittens, as well as puppies, from homes or unlicensed locations, such as puppy mills, and sell them on the internet or at other unregulated outlets, creating and overwhelming surplus of cats and dogs, many of which end up homeless.

“I can recall two examples of unauthorized sellers. One was a rogue puppy buyer who used to sell sick puppies to people in our parking lots. This happened a couple of years ago. She has since been shut down and was charged by the Nova Scotia SPCA for animal cruelty. The other was a man from PEI who used to sell puppies in our parking lots and we had him arrested,” said Jimmy Harrison of Pets Unlimited.

Growing Problem

Over the years, Nathalie’s cat family has continued to grow as more and more people drop off their unwanted cats at her door.

Nathalie can’t turn away any cat. Her heart will not allow it. As a result, her feline population continues to grow. At last count, she had about 500 unwanted cats. Her shelter is bursting at the seams with cats of all colours. Felines fill every room of her small yet comfortable shelter. All are ex-pets who used to live in homes. Nearly all of them are very friendly and eager for human contact. Her crowded shelter clearly shows that there is a huge problem in Quebec.

So far, Nathalie has succeeded in averting the terrible fate of hundreds of abandoned cats by providing much needed shelter,
food and medicine.

Asked why she continues to do what she does, she said that her passion belongs at the shelter with her felines. She’s grown attached to all of them and has kept many of them since they were kittens. She has a name for each one and knows them all very well. She recently took photos of every one and plans to post them on her website.

Always a Need for Help

Nathalie’s shelter operates on a shoestring budget. She has a small group of 15 volunteers who assist her with all the chores. There’s always a need for more volunteers.

She also depends heavily on donations from pet companies such as Hagen, which has supported her cause for close to a decade, providing food as well as temporary shelter a few years ago.

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