Former neighbour furious at slow SPCA response to cat crisis

By James Peters
May 17, 2017 - 10:30am Updated: May 17, 2017 - 6:20pm

CHASE, B.C. — The woman who reported dozens of cats living in squalid conditions on a Chase property months ago says she's incensed it took this long for the SPCA to act.

Kimberlee Colliver says she reported the situation on February 19.

Colliver says she and her husband were outside their Birch Street home when she heard a cat wailing on a nearby property, and went to investigate.

"We pull around to where we thought the sound was coming from. As soon as I got out of the truck, even my husband, we were like, 'What is that smell?'" said Colliver. "You know when a male cat sprays? It smelled like 100 cats had sprayed in one spot."

Colliver said that's when she saw the outdoor camper and travel trailer.

According to the SPCA, those two items stored a total of 59 cats.

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"I turned my flashlight on my phone, and I just start shining it in the trailer. Immediately, I see glowing eyes everywhere. Everywhere. And my heart immediately dropped. I was just thinking 'Oh my god.'"

This week, the SPCA announced the cats have been seized and are being cared for at shelters throughout the Southern Interior.

Colliver says she can't believe it took four months for the cats to be rescued.

"I kept calling the SPCA. Nobody wanted to call me back after that. 'Oh, they're looking into it. They saw that the cats were healthy and the litter box was clean and they have food and water.' That's bullsh--."

BC SPCA Senior Animal Protection Officer Kathy Woodward confirms the agency tries to work with animal owners before making a seizure.

"We've been working with the animal owner for some time now," said Woodward. "He moved to Chase (from Kamloops) and ultimately conditions worsened. We ended up doing a warrant."

Woodward adds removing animals is a last resort.

Colliver maintains it should have happened a lot sooner, and wants the SPCA to be held accountable.

"The fact that they're trying to act as heroes right now makes my stomach turn," said Colliver. "They need to be held accountable because we rely on these rescue missions. This isn't India, this isn't China. We live in Canada. This is disgusting."

"Every single day those cats were in there. They had no exercise. We live in more than 4,000 square feet in this house, and I have an 18 year old cat. She's lucky. I could not even imagine keeping her in a bathroom. I could not imagine what those cats have been through."

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