The sudden addition of 23 new feline friends only exacerbates the need for help, a Barrie animal shelter already at capacity says.

On Friday, Furry Friends Animal Shelter says it received a call from its veterinary partner Aldergrove Animal Clinic, whose staff found two boxes full of kittens and their moms needing help.

Furry Friends’ feline co-ordinator says at least three-fourths of the kittens have eye issues requiring medication, and one will need surgery to remove their eye since it’s too far gone, and all are malnourished.

“Honestly, what we need is money. The vet bills are going to be upwards of $15,000 to get all of these guys’ eyes fixed and spay-neutered, microchips, vaccinations, etc.,” says Nicole Swyers.

On July 28 the staff at Aldergrove Animal Clinic arrived at work to find cardboard boxes filled with 23 extremely unwell “Rag Doll” cats and kittens abandoned at their front door.

Supplied by Furry Friends Animal Shelter

Swyers says making room for their new additions has been challenging, with their services already stretched thin and the shelter full when they got the call.

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“We had to move cats around within the shelter and within foster homes to make room so that the fosters that were comfortable with bottle-feeding had room to take these guys in to do what they needed to do to get them fed,” she says.

Before the addition of these latest residents, Swyers says they cared for 60 cats in the shelter and 150 in foster care.

“I would say this year, the intake calls have increased, not just people surrendering, but people finding cats outside that don’t seem to belong to anybody or have been left to their own defences.”

She notes that it’s hard to know precisely why the number of cats in need is increasing but says it’s partly due to people surrendering pets they got earlier in the pandemic and others being unable to care for them with inflation.

“A lot of people are without finding themselves without homes and places to live, and they just can’t care for their cats on top of it,” she says.

Because the cats were left at the clinic before it opened, Swyers says they, unfortunately, do not have any information about the cats and that some were wandering around the parking lot when staff arrived.

She is encouraging anyone who needs to surrender a pet or finds one abandoned to wait until the shelter or vet clinic opens to ensure the animal is safe and so that staff can get a bit of background on the animal’s needs.

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Swyers notes that even writing a note with some details bout the animal can be a big help.

“It’s very overwhelming for us, and it is run by donations only rescue, to come into 23 cats and have to deal with them with no information or prior history on them, it makes it very hard.”

People wanting to support the shelter can find more details on its website.

Click to play video: 'Adopt an adorable kitten: Cochrane Humane Society has 83 kittens ready for loving homes'

Adopt an adorable kitten: Cochrane Humane Society has 83 kittens ready for loving homes

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