Rescued cats to be adopted out of Kanesatake

·3 min read

AngeliCat Jolie, HillaryClawton, Albert Meowstein, Cleocatra and Feline Dion.

This is not a list of celebrities nominated for the next prestigious awards, but the names of cats that were rescued during a mission in Kanesatake. And some of them are still looking for their forever home.

Last June, the non-profit organization The Aristopaws were called to Kanesatake after community member Josée Craig was made aware of a situation that was getting out of hand.

More than 40 cats were rescued from a house after the owners had been deemed unfit to take care of them. Craig explained the owner, whose identity will remain confidential, was not able to take care of the cats anymore.

Part of the reason there were so many was because they hadn’t been sterilized, which allowed them to reproduce at a fast pace.

“It was a difficult mission,” said Craig, “because the first time that the cat’s owner contacted me, I didn’t have any room to take them.”

Craig, who’s been living in the community for the past 24 years and works for the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake, has been rescuing stray cats in her spare time, out of love for the animals.

She normally gets by with the help of community members and through donations, but she said that this year has been harder with COVID-19.

“Everyone is struggling,” she said, as she explained that she couldn’t rescue all those cats alone this time around.

She contacted The Aristopaws after seeing that they dealt with a similar case in Mont Tremblant, back in March. Craig admitted that while it feels rewarding to save the animals, it can also be quite difficult to participate in a rescue mission such as the one in Kanesatake.

While the situation was inhumane for the cats, owning too many pets not only can affect the animals themselves, but it can also hurt the owner’s health.

In fact, in a situation like the one that led to the rescue mission, the love for our four-pawed friends can increase poor air quality and transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans.

“Aristopaws took out 22 cats from under the kitchen sink, where they were hiding because they were afraid of us,” said Craig.

The rescue organization was created in 2014 by Mélanie Dubuc after seeing too many animals being euthanized due to lack of money. The goal was to rescue abandoned, mistreated or stray animals in the region of Montreal.

They are automatically sent to foster families while waiting to be adopted and placed in their forever home.

The Aristopaws, who now count 16 volunteering staff on their team and more than 100 animals under their care, pays for everything related to their needs, such as medicine and food.

“We are simply asking the families to take care of the animals like they were their own,” said Aristopaws director Geneviève Castillo-Huard.

Castillo-Huard explained that it can take up to six months before an animal is ready to be adopted, which is the case with the rescued cats for their mission in Kanesatake.

“A lot of them had never been socialized and were afraid of humans,” said the Aristopaws director. “It can be a long rehabilitation process.”

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Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door