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Humane Society gears up for a busy winter season

It doesn’t look like there will be much down time for the staff and volunteers this Christmas season at the Cochrane and Area Humane Society (CAHS), as an early winter has only increased pressures on the local shelter to house an influx of strays.
Volunteer coordinator Janine Rosler enjoys an impromptu grooming from one of the kittens during play time.
Volunteer coordinator Janine Rosler enjoys an impromptu grooming from one of the kittens during play time.

It doesn’t look like there will be much down time for the staff and volunteers this Christmas season at the Cochrane and Area Humane Society (CAHS), as an early winter has only increased pressures on the local shelter to house an influx of strays.

“We have 100 cats, 62 dogs and six bunnies,” remarked CAHS spokesperson, Cheryl Wallach. “We’re at almost double capacity of our ideal housing number — 90.”

Wallach added that they are fortunate to be able to house litters of puppies and kittens together, as this maximizes the comfort of those critters staying at the bustling facility.

“If we do get another cold spell, this will put major pressure on us,” she said.

“You usually stop seeing so many kittens at this time of year, but for some reason we’re still seeing them — and puppies haven’t slowed down at all.”

Volunteer coordinator, Janine Rosler, said there are a lot of juvenile kittens (3-6 months old) in current care, most of whom are litter-trained, yet still in kitten mode, which makes them ideal for adoption.

“We encourage double adoptions, as well, for which there’s a reduced fee,” said Rosler.

With the CAHS Christmas Party Open House less than two weeks away, Wallach hopes to see a lot of supporters at the shelter on Dec. 8 from noon-5 p.m. The event, which includes pet photos with Santa, holiday shopping and an opportunity to visit with pets in need of homes, is in celebration of the Iams ‘Home 4 the Holidays’ pet adoption program.

As a participating member of the annual program, which runs this season from Oct. 1-Jan. 4, people who adopt pets from CAHS can ensure that five pounds of pet food is donated to the shelter, simply by registering on Iams.ca for ‘Iams Lifelong Rewards’.

The CAHS will also be hosting an all-day kid’s camp on Dec. 3, as there is no school.

For $40, kids can experience a fun day at the shelter, learning about responsible pet ownership, taking part in pet-related crafts and games and visiting with the shelter strays.

Learn more at cochranehumane.ca.

Tracy Keith, executive director of the Humane Society, presented their list of priorities to council on Nov. 26, as the organization has applied for a grant from the town for 2013.

The Society hopes to continue their education programs in the coming year, as well as their in-house hospital operations, staff training programs and a possible rehabilitation and training facility to host dog training, seminars and grooming.

The Humane Society applied for $30,000 from the town for their 2013 operations.