Tails to Tell ‘stacked to the rafters’

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For every cat that’s adopted from Tails to Tell Animal Rescue Shelter in Crossfield, two come through the door – at least that’s what shelter owner Edna Jackson said seems to be the case lately.

“We are so full,” Jackson said. “We’re stacked to the rafters. We’ve got them in bathrooms.”

The facility – which services Airdrie and the surrounding area – is currently at capacity, housing approximately 120 cats and 35 kittens. Jackson said the shelter received nine kittens over Thanksgiving weekend – all of which had been found abandoned in the area and are too young to eat on their own.

“My biggest spiel is three words: spay, neuter, please,” she said, adding she has had to refer people bringing cats to the shelter to the Cochrane & Area Humane Society.

“But then Cochrane’s the same way – they’re full. Calgary’s full. Meow Foundation is full. All of these guys are full,” she said.

“We try not to turn anybody down but once in a while you just kind of have to.”

If a cat is injured or a stray, Jackson said she has a hard time saying no, and is more likely to say no to an owner wanting to surrender its cat.

When kittens dropped off at the shelter can’t eat on their own, Jackson said the shelter pays to bottle feed them if there isn’t a nursing mom already at the facility.

“We’ve had three moms all at one time and they all had their kittens and every one of them took on another batch of kittens that happened to come in after theirs was old enough to be weaned off,” she said. “Some of them had three different litters of kittens on them.”

The shelter pays for feeding the cats through adoption fees and donations.

“But then when it gets to the point where, ‘OK, where does the next money come from?’ it’s my poor old, old age pension cheque,” Jackson said.

The shelter is currently offering an adoption fee special, where cats aged two and older are only $25 to adopt – a discount from $225. Kittens are currently $195 to adopt – a discount from $275.

The adoption fee includes spay or neuter, vaccinations, de-worming, a microchip, tattoo and one month of pet insurance.

“We’ve had quite a few good adoptions in the last little while, but for every one that goes out, two come in,” Jackson said. “When you adopt a cat or a kitten, you’re saving two lives. You’re saving the one that you’re taking home and you’re saving the one that’s going to take its place here in the shelter.”

Jackson opened the shelter in 2010 after hearing about a kitten shoved in a plastic bag and tied to a door outside of a pet store.

“I went home and I said to hubby, ‘enough of this crap, I can’t handle it.’ I said, ‘I’ve got to find some place that we can bring these little guys in,’” she said. “Somebody had to do it.”

The shelter is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Donations are accepted at the facility or via mail. For more information, call Tails to Tell at 403-946-0400.

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