Some of you may already know that I have spent the past month under quarantine, with 'probable' COVID-19 -- that is, I have many symptoms, but the test came back negative. Symptoms are ongoing, but gradually improving. Once I am symptom free for 24 hours, quarantine will end. Running CSC from my bed and living room has been a challenge. Our amazing staff and volunteers have taken up the slack at the adoption centre, to keep it running as smoothly as possible, and I am incredibly grateful for their dedication to cats.
Of course, there are many things that they can't do. Keeping track of our financial status and communicating with our supporters fall into that category. Sadly, I have been too ill to keep up with those responsibilities, and this is taking its toll on CSC. As my health improves, I have been going over our situation, and things are not looking good, right now.
This week's Throne Speech, and the following address from Prime Minister Trudeau, along with the mask directive and gathering limits set by the province, have brought several things into clearer focus. While we had originally hoped (way back in March) that the world would be well on its way toward a healthier, more normal day to day existence by now, the opposite is true. It is now clear that any hope of returning to pre-pandemic operations this year is gone. With this in mind, the following precautions are extended until the end of this year:
- Access to the adoption centre for adoption and fostering is by appointment only. No more than 2 people per appointment, in order to maintain appropriate distancing. Please call the adoption centre at 204 421-1919 to make an appointment. More information can be found under the Adopt and Foster tabs at the top of this page.
- Our gift shop is open from 11 to 5 Wednesday through Sunday. No appointment is necessary, but visitors may be asked to wait outside until appropriate distancing is possible.
- Donations of money, food, litter, and supplies may be dropped off between 11 and 5 daily. No appointment is necessary, but you may be asked to wait outside until appropriate distancing is possible.
- No one will be allowed through the door if they are not wearing a mask that fully covers their nose, mouth, and chin. There will be no exceptions. Those who arrive without a mask may purchase either a disposable or reusable mask, and put it on before entry.
- Immediately on entry, all visitors must use the hand sanitizer provided at the front desk. There will be no exceptions.
- All trap/neuter/return programs, colony manager training, community trapper program and training, neonatal kitten program and training, volunteer orientation, and school volunteer participation are cancelled until January, at the earliest.
- Intake is restricted to kittens from colonies already managed by trained CSC colony managers, and sick or injured adult cats from those colonies. Emergency cases may be considered, if there is space available in an existing, appropriate foster home.
- Group gatherings and events are cancelled through to the end of the year. This means that our Feral Cat Day events, December craft show, Christmas open house, and other gatherings are cancelled. Cindy has committed to running the Christmas bake sale on a pre-order basis.
These measures are intended to help keep our staff, volunteers, and visitors safe and well. Your understanding and cooperation are greatly appreciated.
Cancelling events, limiting access, and restricting the number of guests allowed on site at any one time have all affected the financial health of CSC. Since March, cancelled or restricted events have meant a loss of over $100,000 desperately needed to care for the cats. Cancellation of fall and winter events will have a similar effect. For the first time in our history, we are asking foster families to provide food and litter for the cats they are fostering. Originally this was to limit the number of visits to the adoption centre. Now, it is helping us survive.
In March we asked for your help surviving what we thought would be 5 or 6 months of shut down and restrictions. It seems we were wrong about how long the world would be turned upside down, and we have to ask again. The cats need your support now, more than ever. Please don't let them down.
Please click here for a complete list of ways to send financial support.