Tiny Kittens founder Shelly Roche said there are an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 feral cats in Langley. Many cats the local non-profit rescues require special needs and more resources to nurse back to health, like Thor and his seeing eye cat Nyla. (Tiny Kittens)

Tiny Kittens founder Shelly Roche said there are an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 feral cats in Langley. Many cats the local non-profit rescues require special needs and more resources to nurse back to health, like Thor and his seeing eye cat Nyla. (Tiny Kittens)

Upwards of 30,000 feral cats in Langley an ‘invisible’ problem, Tiny Kittens founder says

Fort Langley non-profit broadcasts 24-hour live stream of rescues

There are an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 feral cats in Langley, according to Tiny Kittens founder Shelly Roche, which she calls an increasingly invisible problem.

“It’s just sad that people aren’t really aware that all of this is happening around them and it makes it hard to generate resources and do fundraising,” said the operator of the Fort Langley non-profit.

She believes that much of the problem can be attributed to the vast amount of rural property in Langley, where in some cases cats are used for rodent control.

“We also have a lot of cats that are dumped on rural properties,” she added.

READ MORE: Cat shot in face survives after rescue by Langley Good Samaritan

“We’ll get a call about a property that has maybe five or 10 cats, and when we get out there we’ll often end up staying and neutering about 10 times that number,” Roche said. “It’s a pretty invisible problem and that means people don’t realize how much suffering is going on right under their noses in their neighbourhoods.”

About 25 per cent of kittens born in the wild actually survive, according to the non-profit.

“The other 75 [per cent] die from things like starvation and disease, and predators and sometimes cruelty, but again we don’t see that in our day-to-day lives so it’s pretty hard to feel compassion for something you can’t see,” Roche noted.

“When we do get to know these animals we see what they’re capable of and how much love they have to give. The moms help each other give birth, they help raise each others kittens, they’re really remarkable little survivors.”

The largest feral colony Tiny Kittens has dealt with is in Aldergrove where they cataloged nearly 400 cats on a single property.

“We have so much space [in Langley] that it’s really easy for them to hide,” Roche said.

Since its inception Roche estimates the organization has spayed and neutered about 1,000 cats in the community, an average about 200 cats each year.

“I think we definitely lack resources; not enough funding, not enough volunteers, not enough shelter space, not enough homes to adopt cats that come from these situations,” she said.

Ideally the organization said it would be spaying and neutering far more cats, but because they provide intense care for many who require special needs, more time and resources are needed to nurse them back to health.

“I think raising awareness that there is a problem is also the other big piece of the puzzle,” Roche noted.

To get to know the animals better and follow their journey Tiny Kittens provides a 24-hour live stream of the rescues.

“People really get to see their individual personalities, they get to kind of fall in love with them and I think that helps to generate some compassion and some understanding of what’s actually happening out there even though you don’t see everyday,” Roche said.

READ MORE: TinyKittens YouTube success fuels more cat rescue efforts

For more information or to donate visit tinykittens.com.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Animal SheltersCatsLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The forfeiture case based on seized gold and European cash is being held at the courthouse in Victoria. (Black Press Media files)
Province aims to seize gold, cash after cannabis raids at Langley homes

Police also found ammo, body armour, and a stun baton

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

A vehicle incident eastbound on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langley at 264th Street is causing traffic in the area on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. (Drive BC)
TRAFFIC: Eastbound Highway 1 vehicle incident in Langley

Traffic reduced to single lane eastbound

Cody Malawsky at the box lacrosse provincials in 2019. As the highly skilled player adds size he will dominate junior, predicts longtime coach Daren Fridge. (Tim McCormick/Special to The Langley Advance Times)
New addition to Langley Thunder has the genetics to excel at lacrosse, coach says

Cody Malawsky was selected first overall at the BC Junior A Lacrosse League Draft

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Hundreds participated in the Abbotsford Kisaan Tractor Rally on Sunday. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Tractor rally in Abbotsford draws hundreds

Abbotsford Kisaan Tractor Rally occurs on Sunday

Beds are set up at the emergency response centre at the North Surrey Recreation Centre. (Contributed file photo)
26 people test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey emergency shelter

Centre located at North Surrey Recreation Centre

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, John Streiker, says he’s outraged that a couple from outside the territory travelled to a remote community this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL
Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail

Metis Nation of B.C. President Clara Morin Dal Col poses in this undated handout photo. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Metis Nation of B.C. *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Metis Nation of B.C. suspends president, citing ‘breach’ of policies, procedures

Vice-president Lissa Smith is stepping in to fill the position on an acting basis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

Cascade Christian School in Chilliwack will be closed until Feb. 5, 2021 due to a cluster of cases in the school. The school made the decision to close “out of an abundance of caution,” says Fraser Health. (Cascade Christian School image)
COVID-19 cluster leads to closure at Chilliwack Christian school

Cascade Christian School makes decision to close after seven people test positive for COVID-19

Most Read