KURT LANGMANN PHOTOS Government, donors and sponsors stood together Thursday afternoon to help open the new ISOasis cat shelter in Aldergrove.

First-of-its-kind cat shelter opens in Langley-Aldergrove

“ISOasis” Cat Intake and Isolation Facility has been major undertaking for the non-profit organization

A first-of-its-kind cat intake facility will enable the Langley Animal Protection Society to do a better job of assessing and healing adoptive cats in this community.

The “ISOasis” Cat Intake and Isolation Facility has been a major undertaking for the non-profit LAPS organization, but with the support of Langley Township and dozens of generous donors the $700,000 facility was brought in under budget.

It was officially opened Thursday afternoon in the presence of dozens of supporters, who cheered and applauded as donors were recognized and the ribbon was cut to open the doors in time for this weekend’s “Kitten Roundup”.

LAPS executive director Jayne Nelson noted that “the best way to have healthy cats is to have great housing” that reduces stress levels that can hinder healing of unwell cats.

Nelson said the new facility will enable LAPS to handle a 40 per cent increase in the numbers of cats it cares for in preparation for public adoptions, as well as perform this task in a better environment for the cats. Currently about 60 per cent of the 1,400 animals they care for each year are cats, with the remainder being primarily dogs.

Veterinarian Kathryn Wellsman, chair of the LAPS Board of Directors, said coming up with a design and funding for the unique facility was “daunting as there is no blueprint” for such a facility. She said that in consultation with veterinary colleges and shelters, “gold standard guidelines were drawn up that reduce the spread of infectious diseases and better animal welfare, free from stress.”

Initial funding of $225,000 came from Langley Township, and numerous donors, large and small, helped LAPS to reach its target of about $700,000.

There was initially a shortfall of about $150,000 but main contractor ENM Construction made up that difference by donating services and goods as well as leaning on suppliers to help chip in.

Colin Lacey of ENM Construction, a longtime Aldergrove resident and volunteer in the community, also brought his wife Karin and their children into the volunteer team which performed works to get several of the jobs done at no charge.

In all, Naleon said, about 450 individuals contributed in on way or another to the project.

The Cat Intake and Isolation Facility (ISOasis) is a purpose built cat intake, isolation and recovery facility on the same site of the Patti Dale Animal Shelter, both operated by Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) at 2622- 56th Avenue.

A sheltering first in Canada, the ISOasis will provide much needed space for the care of sheltered cats and kittens in the Langley-Aldergrove community.

After years of seeing so many ill or injured cats and kittens from the community, a team of staff and volunteers dreamed a big dream on how to improve the care and space provided for these needy cats.

This purpose-built facility will provide dedicated isolation space, self-contained suites, an intake room, multi-purpose room, and a laundry room that will enhance the quality of life and reduce the time from intake to adoption, while limiting the spread of feline related diseases. The air will be filtered to ensure that air borne diseases are not spread and the climate will be carefully managed to promote the best environment for healing.

This will help cats get healthy faster and into new permanent homes so that LAPS can help more cats in need.

LAPS needed an ISOasis because although the Patti Dale animal shelter is state-of-the-art, it was designed for dogs and not to care for cats.

“This means that we frequently have to use spaces meant for dogs for cats,” says Nelson.

“Operationally, this is challenging for staff and volunteers and it can have negative health and safety consequences. Not only do cats often struggle more in shelters than dogs, but they are significantly more likely to be sick when brought into the shelter. This means that cats have a greater need for isolation to recover without compromising the health of the entire shelter. The ISOasis will allow us to perform cat intake exams away from public areas to minimize the spread of disease and it will provide well designed spaces for them to await their new forever homes.”

For more information see website: http://www.lapsbc.ca/

ISOasis Cat Intake and Isolation Facility opened in time for this weekend’s Kitten Roundup, Saturday, April 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 26220 56th Ave. Bring pregnant cats, nursing moms with kittens, and kittens under 6 months of age, or text the hotline at 604-690-5232 anytime that day to schedule a time for LAPS to come pick them up. LAPS will also have a limited number of free spay/neuter certificates available for Langley residents on a first come, first served basis. See info at http://www.lapsbc.ca/roundup/.

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ISOasis Cat Intake and Isolation Facility opened in time for this weekend’s Kitten Roundup, Saturday, April 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 26220 56th Ave. Bring pregnant cats, nursing moms with kittens, and kittens under 6 months of age, or text the hotline at 604-690-5232 anytime that day to schedule a time for LAPS to come pick them up.

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