Our Flagship – The Cat Sanctuary
The Summerland Cat Sanctuary is the “flagship” of Critteraid. Operating at more than capacity, the sanctuary encompasses one floor of the house at Critteraid Farm. Floors are heated and rooms designed in order that the cats can enjoy the natural light from outdoors. Visitors can spend time with the cats in the rooms or can observe the cats through the glass doors.
From 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., the cats have access to the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale compound, a large, clean and safe area where the cats can bask in the sun and watch the pheasants and birds at the farm while remaining safe from harm in this fabulous structure. They enjoy overseeing the activity in the pasture below where the horses and alpacas entertain the cats with their romps and equine discussion. This year we will be moving the donkeys and the cow to the lower pasture and their new pastures will come right up to the cat sanctuary so we expect to hear a lot of chatter from the cats about their new neighbours.
The cats are no longer unwanted, abused or homeless when they come to Critteraid. Often they are hurt or ill and most likely would not have survived other animal facilities. Many are feral and the Critteraid volunteers have provided all of them with unconditional love. They are not treated as victims but as loved, sentient souls who are asked nothing of…except to try and be happy. We are proud of our tremendous success with achieving the trust of many of these special cats and the adoptions that have resulted.
While we have a moratorium on incoming cats, without exception, Critteraid cats return to the sanctuary if an adoptive family is unable to continue to provide them with a good home. Our cats must remain indoor cats only and adopters must agree that they will never put the cat through a declawing amputation.
Our Adoption Procedure
Our adoption procedure begins with interested adopters completing an Application to Adopt form. When that is done, we will send representatives to visit the adopter in their home and learn directly from them what they are looking for and what their expectation is. After that, adopters are invited to visit the cats themselves.
Every cat is adoptable at Critteraid, whether it is the wildest of the ferals to the cat that has a chronic virus. It all depends on the adopter. We are just starting to see that very special people seem to be drawn to those very special cats. The bonds that can develop are truly magnificent and a gentle hand that strokes a special needs cat is always indicative of a full and happy heart.
Some of the cats have to be adopted with a special cat friend and some of the cats would love to live a retired life without another cat in the house. Some like dogs, some are fearful of them. Many we just don’t know how they will respond to a dog at close range. Some need the comfort and warmth of a bed and others have never seen a bed and don’t have a clue what it is.
All of the cats at Critteraid are spayed or neutered.
While we very rarely have kittens at the sanctuary, we often have kittens that are either cared for by Foster Families or at Petsmart waiting for their forever home.
Our oldest resident was Marmie March, once a feral who turned 24 in April 2006. Representing all the cats in the photograph on the About Us page is our beloved Earless Oddsock, who passed away at Critteraid in 2004. He had lived on the back streets of Naramata for a number of years, a fish hook attached to his side. When we finally trapped him, we were delighted and awestruck that he was not the fierce wildcat at all but a sweet, grateful and very forgiving soul.
We are very aware of the hundreds of cats that we turn away. With education, comes more responsibility and we hope that everyone will speak up for the animals who are forgotten for so many different reasons. We are confident that if everyone can find the courage to make their voices heard with kindness, the shift will soon come and our society won’t be in such a crisis with so many unwanted animals.
Looking to Adopt?
Check out our adoption page to see who is looking for his or her forever home today!Find a Friend