Thursday, April 27, 2023

Animal Rescue Society shares notes on work in community with City Council

Chantal Cornwall (left) spoke on behalf of a delegation from PURS at
Monday's City Council Session

The First half hour of Monday's City Council Session served as an informative overview of a relatively recently formed Animal Rescue and Advocacy society in the community, with Chantal Cornwall and a delegation from PURS Paws United Rescue Society on hand to share a fair bit of background on their work in recent months.

Ms. Cornwall noted that the Society had been formed in the fall of 2020 and built upon the work of Kim St Pierre and others, particularly in the attention given to the Feral Cat population that is found in the city. 

Ms. Cornwall and Ms. St. Pierre are the co-founders of PURS.

She observed that during the pandemic years, the region's feral population was at an all time high, that owing to a range of issues, from unemployment, eviction and the vet crisis in the province.

The growth of the Society and its work was put forward for Council with over 300 kittens and cats adopted since they were formed, some taken in by local families others taken to other communities by travellers heading out of town.

Among those that have helped the Society with their Travel program is Councillor Teri Forster, who it was noted has made many transits on their behalf.

For those familiar with PURS social media stream and  online presence the Cat Transport program has proven to be popular with many travellers, with a CATalogue of photos available of tabbies for Transport making for the narrative.

Ms. Cornwall also outlined the scope and of their Trap and Release program, which locally since May of 2021 has seen 82 feral cats trapped, vaccinated and released. She noted of the cost of the program, which last year saw the Society spend close to 18,000 dollars towards fixing the feral population.

She observed as to how the Feral population serves a purpose in the community, keeping other pests under control.

"Feral cats have an important role in the whole balance of a port city, keeping the rat population of rodents and mice down. As soon as you take that out of the equation you're going to have a huge increase of infestation." -- Chantal Cornwall, Co-founder of PURS

Much of their efforts are funded by grants and fundraising efforts and they noted of the partnerships they have formed in Prince Rupert and across the Northwest. 

Part of the PAWZ presentation on Monday was to raise awareness of their work and note of their ongoing Fundraising auction.

The Society also came to Council with a request, that for some assistance in finding a location for their use to provide for their Rescue service in the city.

Towards that theme, Councillor Wade Niesh asked for some further details on what they were hoping to make use of that effort.

"A small room, we're not asking for much it would be nice to stand up in one ... a room that has an entryway that can be used at 11 o'clock 12 o'clock at night that's when our best trapping can happen or early in the morning that would honestly  be ideal. And to have something that they are safe to recover in and warm and safe for them and then they're released days later" -- Chantal Cornwall, Co-founder of PURS

Councillor Cunningham expanded on the area of the space they are looking for and then asked how people could contact them to help or need their assistance.

The number for those looking to contact the Society is  778-884-6663

Later as part of the Regular Council Session, the Council members agreed to help with their reques, directing City staff to look into potential options for a small space, with access to water, for their society to use to temporarily house animals for recovery.t 

You can review their full prevention to Council from the Video Archive, which makes for the first item on the evening Agenda for the Council Members.

You can follow their work from their Social Media stream.

More notes from the Monday City Council session can be explored here.

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