Rescuing and adopting cats in Hamilton

August 31, 2016


On August 25, Abandoned Cats Rescue (ACR) posted this story on their Facebook (link)

Lost CatA lady noticed a stray calico cat hanging around her property. She hesitated to bring the cat to our local Animal Control, but had no choice. Shortly afterwards, she realized that is was the wrong decision and was sending out emails to numerous rescues asking if they could help her and that she would foster this cat until adopted. "June" as she was called was rescued and brought to our vet for her first examine. She was very skinny, but with some TLC, things would be fine. June was a very friendly and affectionate cat. We received an email from one of our fosters that someone had posted on Facebook that this cat looked like their missing cat for over a year. This is when the emails and pictures went back and forth. The potential owners went to visit June. It was determined that this was their missing Woodley. She is now back with her owners and will probably have second thoughts of sneaking outside.

This is an uplifting read for any pet lover. And it's more than a feel-good story because it gets across a message that anyone whose cat goes missing should heed the advice to actively search. In this case, as in so many other "happy ending stories", it's an "Act Quickly and Don't give up" approach that gets lost cats safely home. Getting the word out instantly to the neighbourhood, continuing to get the word out, updating missing cat signs to read "Still Missing" and making use of web sites like Helping Lost Pets can make it happen. And increasingly people are, as Woodley's owners did, also turning to social media and posting on Facebook pages. 

Miracles like the one Woodley and her family recently experienced wouldn't have happened had her family given up on her. Happy ending stories like this one appear on the Facebook pages of other local rescue groups too. While the volunteers with ACR and other groups often check for microchips and tags, they're also starting to keep their eye on social media, like Facebook, hoping to find and connect with owners.

The only thing celebrated with even greater joy than rehoming a stray is discovering that "the stray" already has a home and reuniting the cat with his or her own loving family.


July 28, 2016

A Donation to HBSPCA Makes the News;
Every Donation is Cause for Celebration!

Hamilton cats will be better off in the future thanks to the dying wish of a Hamilton man who left a generous donation that guarantees an annual grant of $65,000 to HBSPCA. That donation made the news - hitting not just the Hamilton Spectator but also the Toronto Star and the CBC News. 

Coming as it has at the height of a very difficult kitten season when HBSPCA and all the local rescue groups are stretched way beyond their limits, it caught the attention of everyone concerned about the sad plight of too many Hamilton cats.

While this one heartfelt donation merits celebration, when it comes to donations, every donated penny counts!

On the HBSPCA facebook today was the story of 9 yr old Grace who had stopped by to drop off the money she'd raised from her lemonade stand. It featured this picture of her snuggling with Nike, a shelter cat, while she was here. This rescued kitten was, no doubt, purring his thanks.

We won't see that story when we open our newspapers tomorrow but it's worth reprinting. It serves as a reminder that we can't afford to lose sight of the fact that every donation - however large or small - matters to Hamilton cats.


May 1, 2016

Keeping Current on Cats at HAS

For several years, RHC has tracked and posted on our Home Page, stats provided to us weekly, later monthly, by Hamilton Animal Services (HAS.) Our most recent summary report (February 2016), based on our analysis of 2015 numbers, examines changes since 2014 and provides an overview of the past 10 years.

Recently, HAS stopped providing us with these monthly stats and announced the introduction of an Animal Shelter Statistics page on their web site where they will be posting, on a reduced quarterly basis, and making all animal shelter data (for cats, dogs & others) public. The January to March 2016 data is available now

 You can find links to the actual data at the bottom of that page; the first Excel spreadsheet gives the numbers for the first quarter of 2016 and the other for the comparable quarter in 2015. 

Using numbers from those spreadsheets, RHC compiled the following chart which provides a comparison of these two quarters, specific to the cat population:

YTD 2016

YTD 2015

% of 2015 YTD

Intake of Cats

Owner Surrender
















Outcome of Cats

Return to Owner




Rescue Org
















Euthanized Cats













Owner Request








The first (pre-kitten season) quarter of the year is generally quiet and overall 2016 intake is not significantly different from last year. What this says is that the lowest-ever intake level (reached in 2015) was maintained. The euthanized numbers are also unchanged, indicating that the lowest-ever rate reached last year was maintained.  Reported reasons for euthanization have historically fluctuated from month to month (and these numbers are small) so, nothing can be inferred from the rise in the "Health" and drop in the " Temp'nt/Behav." categories.

Regarding Outcomes for Cats,  two issues draw attention:

Return to Owner (RTO) although relatively small at 21, is up by 62% from the 13 last year. But, the 13 for the first quarter of 2015 was an anomaly; the average for the other 3 quarters was 27/quarter. So, these numbers do not support any claim that the RTO rate is up.

Transfer to Rescue Groups is down significantly (by 33%). This may be partially attributable to the lower occupancy number from the same quarter last year as reported by HAS staff or simply an anomaly.

RHC will stay focused, as we always have, on Hamilton cats - and continue to look closely at the cat data released each quarter by HAS for what the numbers can tell us. And, now that this data is being made available to the public, anyone can examine this data and raise questions from various perspectives. That's something to be applauded.


Feb. 16, 2016

What does HAS do for cats?

2015 Report Prepared by Rescue Hamilton Cats

In recent years, many changes have been taking place at HAS that are affecting how these services are delivered. One of the things we (Rescue Hamilton Cats) have been doing is to stay informed about these changes, analyze data provided by HAS, and look into what these changes mean to Hamilton cats and the people wanting to help them. For a current picture of what HAS is doing (and what services they do and don't provide) we refer you to this Report prepared in February 2016.


Jan. 11, 2016

Get Your Female Cat Fixed

The Hamilton/Burlington SPCA (HBSPCA) got 2016 off to a great start with a "Happy Neuter Year" greeting offering owners of male cats the chance to get their cats "fixed" this January for only $20 (see News Alert dated December 19, 2015). The response was quick; 50 cats are already "fixed" and all the January spaces for neutering are filled.

Now owners of female cats will get their chance to take advantage of this same $20 offer and book spots to get their cats fixed. February will be their turn to "beat the heat" and prevent unwanted litters.


Made possible by a PetSmart grant, the fee includes the spay, a microchip, vaccines (FVRCP & rabies) & Revolution (flea treatment & dewormer). Spaces are limited and advance registration in person (& payment in cash) is required. Advance Registration

Where: HARRRP Community Centre, 705 Main St E, Hamilton, ON L8M 1K8
When: Wednesday Jan 13th (60 spots available) 6pm-8pm Wednesday Jan 20th (60 spots available) 6pm-8pm Wednesday Jan 27th (55 spots available) 6pm-8pm
* Payment required at registration ($20 - cash only)
* Please bring ID with you - Your cat's microchip will be linked to your address
* Maximum 3 cats per address
* Surgery will take place in February at the Hamilton Burlington SPCA
If you have questions or can't attend in person, contact Michelle / 905 574-7722 ext.303