Why we Walk for the Kitties

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Long John Silver doesn’t let his injury stop him from being a scampy kitten

Tiny Long John Silver got his name because of his amazing silver fur. And because he’s missing part of his back leg.

He was rescued when a woman in Port Coquitlam spotted a mama and two kittens emerging from a carport. The kind Samaritan took the little family inside but the mama begged to be let back out. Once outside she went back to the carport and one by one brought out five more kittens.

We were called in and now the big family is safe and sound in foster care. Mom is very sweet and her mix of babies were likely no more than 4 weeks old when rescued. All the kittens are healthy except for Long John Silver who has a very damaged back leg and is missing his foot. The wound has been there for awhile and is infected, but with some TLC he’ll hopefully be able to live a normal life. He’s already made several trips to the vet though and the bills are starting to add up. But the good news is he’s healing really well and his wound is slowly closing over.

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Long John Silver and his siblings

The reality is only 25% of kittens who don’t receive human care survive. The chips were stacked against Long John Silver and with his wound it’s certain he wouldn’t have made it without our help.

Long John Silver is just one of the thousands of reasons why we Walk for the Kitties.

Each year, VOKRA rescues more than 1,800 homeless cats in the Lower Mainland. Unlike many other animal rescue groups, VOKRA is a volunteer-driven, no-kill organization. Our work is made possible through the generous support of volunteers, adopters and people like you. Walk for the Kitties is our largest fundraising event of the year and we rely on the funds raised. Learn more here.

Please help us help kitties like Long John Silver this September 18 by joining us for our 7th Annual Walk for the Kitties.

Eventbrite - VOKRA's 7th Annual Walk for the Kitties

Can’t make it on September 18? You can still donate today!

IMG_0052LJS loves boxes! IMG_0053Here he is with his brother Mr. Smee.
LJS is much smaller than his siblings

Snaggletooth’s Happy Tail Ending

27260047193_b007f182d9_zSenior kitty Snaggletooth first came to us in July 2015 as a stray. At some point in his life someone cared enough for him to ensure he was neutered and tattooed. But by the time he came to us the tattoo had faded and couldn’t be read so he was stuck with us. He’s a sweet, loving, relaxed guy and sometimes his bottom left tooth ends up being in front of his upper lip so we dubbed him Snaggletooth.

Life on the streets was rough for Snaggletooth and it took it’s toll. He had high blood pressure, a heart murmur and was mildly anemic. But with some care and attention he was doing well, until disaster struck.

In April Snaggletooth failed to land a jump and severally broke his right back leg. In fact he broke it so badly a specialist had to come in to install a plate and pin the leg. But Snaggletooth is a resilient guy and he recovered nicely from his surgery and by June he was ready to find a forever home. That’s when something special happened.

IMG_7133We featured Snaggletooth on adopteez.com and shared the post on our Facebook page. His profile ended up showing up in the news feed of a woman named Jen who automatically recognized him as the cat she lost more than a year ago. She contacted us right away and we were able to confirm Snaggletooth is indeed her kitty. It turns out he’s actually 19 years old and she’s had him since she was seven. It also turns out his name is actually Ramsey and he went missing shortly after they moved to a new home. Our best guess is after he escaped he was trying to make his way back to his old neighbourhood when we trapped him.

We’re so happy these two have been reunited!

Do you have a Happy Tail to share? Email us at communications@vokra.ca.

Wanted: Reception Team Members

IMG_5924Our reception team works at our Operations Centre in East Vancouver and is the first point of contact for all our visitors and guests.

In addition to greeting visitors and acting as the face of VOKRA, the reception team also helps with data entry, filing, ensuring volunteers sign-in for their shifts, managing food/litter inventory, selling VOKRA merchandise and, most importantly, cuddling with our beautiful kitties!

The reception team makes sure our Operations Centre runs smoothly which is critical. The Centre is our home base and is the place where kitties first enter our system and it’s also the hub for our foster program.

Reception team volunteers must commit to a minimum of one 2 hour shift per week for at least six months.

To apply to join our reception team click here.

Volunteer of the Month – August 2016


NatashaWe hope all our volunteers had an amazing time at our Volunteer Appreciation BBQ last month! Now we’re back to our regular Volunteer of the Month feature and for August we’d like to give all our thanks to Natasha Wodak!

Not only is Natasha a valued volunteer, she’s also a professional distance runner, athlete ambassador for Asics Canada and, come August 12, she’ll also be an Olympian when she steps on the track in Rio!

Running is no doubt one of Natasha’s top passions, but cuddling with kitties is definitely right up there. She started volunteering at VOKRA in October 2014 as a cat care volunteer coming in each Friday for a shift whenever she’s in town. She feeds the kitties, cleans litter boxes and cages, does dishes and laundry and, best of all, she cuddles all the kitties to help them socialize.

One of Natasha’s best moments volunteering was bottle-feeding a newborn kitten for the first time and it nearly brought tears to her eyes. Like all volunteers, Natasha has met a lot of cats that have a special place in her heart, but here she tell us the story of her first foster:

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“Feeona was my foster kitty for a year and a half,” explains Natasha. “I met her last November when she was only eight months old after she was brought to the Operations Centre for the second time because she wasn’t using her litter box. She was the sweetest little thing and I fell in love with her instantly. I wasn’t looking to foster, but after three weeks of seeing her every Friday in a cage at Ops I had to take her home. In the time I had her she made loads of progress with using her box, but still, every few days she’d have an accident. Just about three weeks ago I had to give her to another foster. It was too hard for me to take care of her with all my travelling. My heart broke seeing her go, but I’m happy to hear she’s doing well and settled into a nice home on Gabriola Island.”

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Feeona

The hardest part about volunteering at VOKRA for Natasha is seeing all of the neglected, abandoned and abused cats. However, the most rewarding part about volunteering is knowing what a difference all the volunteers make for these cats; more than a thousand kitties are saved each year! It makes Natasha extremely happy to know she’s helping all the helpless kitties in every way she can. She also loves taking photos of all the cats and kittens she works with, so check out her Instagram at @tasha_wodak if you want to melt from all the cuteness (and follow her Olympic experience)!

We want to thank Natasha for all her hard work and devotion to VOKRA, even with her busy schedule as a professional athlete. We also want to wish her the best of luck at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio. She’s one of the most kindhearted volunteers we know and she most definitely deserves an Olympic medal. So again, good luck Tasha in Rio – do it for the kitties!

Natasha_4531You can cheer on Nastasha as she competes in the Women’s 10,000m on August 12 at 7:10 a.m.!

Post written by Aurora C.

As a 100% volunteer-driven non-profit, we clearly couldn’t do what we do without our extremely dedicated and hard working team of volunteers. THANK YOU!

If you’re interested in volunteering with us visit our website at vokra.ca/volunteer.

Why we Walk for the Kitties

UPDATE: It turns out Polly is a boy! Because he’s feral we weren’t able to get close enough to give him a thorough examination so it wasn’t until he was put under anesthesia to remove his rotten teeth that the discovery was made.

Senior cat Polly was living under a vacant house when she was spotted by a letter carrier who asked us to help.

Suffering from a severe infection to her nose and left eye, poor bedraggled Polly was taken to our Operation Centre for treatment. She came in very dirty and skinny with broken teeth and many puncture wounds. We suspect she must have been attacked by another animal, but initially the vet couldn’t rule out cancer on her nose.

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BEFORE & AFTER

To make matters worse, Polly is feral. This means she didn’t grow up with any human interaction so she lashes out when people come near. But this didn’t deter VOKRA co-founder Maria. She wouldn’t give up on Polly and everyday she patiently and slowly cleaned her face and applied antibiotic cream.

There was a point when Maria thought Polly’s nose would never heal, but suddenly one day new, pink skin began to grow. Today Polly’s nose is almost completely healed. After she has a couple of her rotten teeth removed, our hope is she’ll be able to live out the rest of her life in our feral barn sanctuary.

Polly is just one of the thousands of reasons why we Walk for the Kitties.

Each year, VOKRA rescues more than 1,800 homeless cats in the Lower Mainland. Unlike many other animal rescue groups, VOKRA is a volunteer-driven, no-kill organization. Our work is made possible through the generous support of volunteers, adopters and people like you.

Please help us help kitties like Polly this September 18 by joining us for the 7th Annual Walk for the Kitties.

Eventbrite - VOKRA's 7th Annual Walk for the Kitties

Walk for the Kitties is our largest fundraising event of the year. Learn more here.

Can’t make it on September 18? You can still donate today!

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Volunteer of the Month – July 2016

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Our July Volunteer of the Month is all of our VOKRA volunteers! We want to thank each and everyone one of you for all your help and support at our Volunteer Appreciation Barbeque on July 24!

We welcome our current volunteers and their families to drop in anytime between 1 – 3 p.m. for a rooftop BBQ. We’ll have door prizes and tours of our Operations Centre. If you’re planning to come to the pawty please RSVP by July 17 by clicking here.

Like we like to say, volunteering is the joy of making a difference one purr at a time. Thank you all for all your dedication and support for VOKRA! We honestly couldn’t do it without you.

Kittens, Kittens, Kittens!

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Kittens, kittens everywhere!

Kitten season may be the cutest time of the year, but it means a lot of extra costs and work for us here at VOKRA.

Each year during kitten season we care for more than 400 kittens, and this year is no exception. As a volunteer-driven non-profit, we can’t do this without the support of people like you.

Kittens in our care have a chance at a happy, safe and healthy life. Kittens like Samuel, Simon, Lily Mae and Ginger McGraw. These little orphans came to us when they were only a couple weeks old. We’ll never know what happened to their mom, but what we do know is they wouldn’t be alive today without our care.

When these kittens arrived they were so young they needed to be bottle fed every 2 – 3 hours. Between the cost of special kitten formula and supplements, nursing kits and medical care it costs more than $250 to raise each kitten. That adds up to more than $1,000 just for this litter alone.

Will you help us today?

Your support today will help us buy extra food and litter, and will also pay for veterinary care and medication.

Please donate today to help save kittens like Ginger and her brothers and sister.

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