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Feral Cat Rescue “praying for a miracle”

July 17, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Michelle Janzen

 

As of October 10, 2017, Feral Cat Rescue has to cease and deist all business at their 141 Second Avenue West location.

Last week, Sharon Morden received the cease and deist letter via register mail from the Town of Shelburne which stated that Feral Cat Rescue will not be allowed, as of October 10, to conduct business, and if they do, the Town of Shelburne will have all of the cats removed and that Sharon will be getting the bill.

After all the promises to help, and all the discussions at Town council meetings, Sharon tells the Free Press via telephone “I really don’t know what’s going to happen. I am no longer taking in any cats and have had to turn several people away, which absolutely breaks my heart.

“The Town Council said it would help, and so far, all I have got are telephone numbers, contact names, and access to two grants. I have no idea how to fill these out and in trying to figure all this out while drafting a business plan and working a full-time job. I have not only lost sleep at night stressing out about it all, I have also had to take of time from my job, which is where the majority of the income needed to run the operation comes from.”

At Monday, June 19’s Council meeting, Sharon was told she was in violation of By-law #38-2007 which does not allow the business to be operated from a private home in a residential neighbourhood.

Subsequently, Council was presented with six possible options for a solution, with one of them being ordering a non-compliance, in accordance with the said Bylaw, which is what they opted for as they felt they could not in good conscience allow an illegal business to continue to operate in violation of this Bylaw.

Right now, Sharon is trying to put together a business plan and look for a location to house the Feral Cat Rescue if funds can be located through grants, and possibly the Town of Shelburne, who in the past have utilized her services on a regular basis.

“Right now our biggest hurdle is trying to find a suitable location to move the operations to,” she tells us. “The problem being that the zoning we need is C3, C4 or M1, which there were only a handful of places in and around the Town of Shelburne currently zoned that way. Most of these places are not willing to have the Feral Cat Rescue in their buildings, and the one that will is an old automotive shop and would need months of restoration and cleaning to bring it to where it would need to be in order to house the cats, which would be costly; not to mention the rent and utilities to keep the place running before any food, litter or medical supplies is looking to be well over $2,200 per month.

“If we are lucky enough to receive the grants we can apply for, after muddling through all the endless paperwork that makes no sense, the money from them wouldn’t be available to us until 2018.”

Right now, Sharon is searching for a piece of property someone is willing to allow them to lease to put a trailer on to house the Feral Cat Rescue, or possibly just let them use it at no cost, which would be a huge help. If you have an outbuilding on your property that’s not being used that you are willing to lease or let them use at no cost, Sharon would love to hear from you.

Currently, Sharon is trying to adopt our all of the cats she currently has, and not taking in any new cats. She is also looking for people who are interested in fostering some of the adult cats if they cannot be adopted out.

Feral Cat Rescue goes back to council on July 24 to present her business plan, and Sharon says she is praying for a miracle to keep her facility running and doesn’t even want to think about what could possibly happen after October 10.

If you are able to help Sharon with adopting, fostering or have a location she can lease or you are willing to give to the Feral Cat Rescue please contact her at 519-278-0707.

         

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