Lethbridge’s cat rescue faces a spike in calls even as the city is notified of its closure

Overburdened with requests to help stray and abandoned cats, Lethbridge’s Last Chance Cat (LCCR) farm is at a difficult crossroads.

“What’s the best next step, where do we go from here? That’s a daily question with me anyway,” said Elizabeth Jane, founder of the LCCR.

Ginn has been operating the LCCR for 18 years as one of the no-kill animal rescues in the region.

In February, the city of Lethbridge served the facility with a cease order saying they did not have the appropriate permits or zoning as an animal rescue shelter.

This also limits the number of volunteers who are able to assist in the rescue operation, limiting their ability to assist in the capacities they have had in the past.

This also limits the number of volunteers who are able to assist in the rescue operation, limiting their ability to assist in the capacities they have had in the past.

“You are only allowed to have a very large number of people in the house, yet you are still expected to consume all infected, sick and homeless cats, as well as all mothers and kittens at the moment,” he told CTV News.

“This week alone we took five mums and two kittens.”

According to Ginn and one of the LCCR volunteers, Kennedy McCloy, this year has already been one of the busiest they’ve seen.

There are currently approximately 45 animals in the shelter and 60 in nurseries.

“We were inundated with calls and messages, and we got 30 calls a day at some point,” McCloy said.

“People who want to deliver cats, people find homeless cats. This is probably the worst I’ve ever seen.”

Appeal rejected

In April, the cat farm appealed the city’s decision but their appeal was dismissed.

“I wonder why, where did all this come from?” asked the jinn.

“Why after all these years has it come to this and what will happen in Lethbridge if we close our doors?”

On top of dealing with the city, Jane battles with stage four cancer.

McCloy said she has never met someone who is loyal and committed to a cause, especially in such difficult times.

“What you’re doing is so inspiring,” she said.

“A lot of people wouldn’t do what I did. Giving up their home, their savings and their whole life is basically devoted to these cats. She’s a very special lady.”

The city has given the organization until February 2023 to find a new location, something the LCCR says is proving very difficult due to city zoning laws.

However, Jane said she wouldn’t go down without a fight.

“I need the decision for myself, because I’m going and when I’m gone, I won’t go quietly.”

The City of Lethbridge was unable to provide us with a response at the time, but after the appeal was rejected in April, they said there were plans to work with the organization until a more suitable location was found.

This includes letting them know if zoning is appropriate and the types of permit requirements they will need to meet.

To learn more about Last Chance Cat Ranch and the work they do, you can visit their website.

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