SPCA employee Amanda Reeve holds two of the six kittens which were dropped off on the side of Highway 97 just north of Penticton earlier this week. The kittens were in a pet carrier

SPCA employee Amanda Reeve holds two of the six kittens which were dropped off on the side of Highway 97 just north of Penticton earlier this week. The kittens were in a pet carrier

Penticton SPCA swamped with kitten season

Six kittens found abandoned alongside the busy highway just outside Penticton, part of busy "kitten season" for SPCA.

It is one of the busiest times of the year for staff at the Penticton SPCA, and finding six kittens abandoned alongside the busy highway just outside Penticton didn’t help.

“Kitten season we call it,” said Jamie Armer, South Okanagan-Similkameen SPCA manager. “We took in the last six weeks probably over 70 cats and kittens which is a shame.”

Armer said the SPCA received a call on Tuesday from a couple stopped at a Highway 97 pullout just outside of Penticton that found three kittens inside a carrier cage with the door open. The couple were advised to have a look to see if there was any other kittens within the proximity and to close the door.

“I arrived about 15 minutes after the call and found the carrier with actually six kittens inside,” said Armer. “There was a bit of junk food in there. Someone had put some fries and a bit of milkshake in the cage with them.”

From June to October cats and kittens mostly come in as strays or surrenders, and although shocking to find kittens abandoned in such a dangerous situation next to the busy highway, Armer said this is just one of many heartbreaking stories.

“Besides the 70 cats we have taken in, we also had another 26 cats surrendered from owners. It is a lot, when you think we are only supposed to house a maximum of around 40 at any one time,” said Armer.

A recent successful adoption drive did help ease some of the congestion at the shelter, but the cats and kittens keep coming in. The six found on the side of the highway were all deemed to be in good health. Armer suspects they hadn’t been there long.

“They are absolutely beautiful and highly adoptable kittens. Normally you expect to see a litter of six identical black kittens, but there are beautiful Siamese cats and ginger tabbies,” he added.

Those who left the animals abandoned on the side of the road could face criminal charges, but Armer said there would have to be conclusive evidence which is tough to come by in these situations. He said the best choice would have been for the owners to call the SPCA to figure out a plan for the kittens.

“We are not here to make people feel bad. We are here to try and educate people so if they end up in that circumstance once, perhaps we can educate them so they don’t end up in that circumstance again,” Armer said.

The SPCA manager suggests people with unwanted pets to call them first. Turning up at the shelter doorstep isn’t always the best either because the shelter is quite full and there can be a waiting list.

“We tend to favour people who have attempted to re-home some of the litter themselves first. We have a full house and our foster families are at capacity as well,” said Armer.

Those interested in becoming a foster family can inquire with the SPCA. Armer said it is a simple process and a matter of checking on what sort of home environment the potential foster family has to judge what kind of space they have for say a litter of kittens or a litter with a mom.

“It can be quite rewarding the foster program, but also quite difficult. A lot of people find it hard to bring the animals back and we do have a lot of foster homes that end up adopting the animals,” said Armer.

Help is also accepted in other forms such as monetary donations, Canadian Tire money, wet cat and dog food, office supplies, blankets (they do not accept pillows, sleeping bags or comforters due to the amount of time it takes to wash), towels and cleaning supplies. The SPCA also has two fundraising events coming up with the Dog Days of Summer at See Ya Later Ranch Winery in Okanagan Falls on Sept. 1 and Paws For A Cause on Sept. 8 at Gyro Park. Registration is at 10:30 a.m. with the walk at noon.

“Paws For A Cause is our biggest event of the year. We encourage people to  register, raise some money and come out with their dogs for the walk and enjoy the day,” said Armer, of the event which aims to raise $32,000.

Prizes will be handed out for best-dressed dog, there will be kids activities, the humane education team will be there, local vendors, a barbecue and more.

Just Posted

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Goosebumps helped scare off predators

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Sue Birds captured this sunset photo that took place in between the rain and thunder Monday night, June 15, 2021. (Sue Birds)
Stormy sunsets over Okanagan Valley

Monday night had thunder, rain and stunning sunsets

Owner Daren McWhinney is really excited about the new location of Angry Vegan which just opened up at 536 Main Street. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton’s Main Street turns into foodie heaven

Angry Vegan, Wild Ginger, Twisted Chopsticks and Gratify recently opened

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

Most Read