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Port aux Basques animal shelter relocating to former fish plant

The animal rescue charity, In Memory of Shadow Emergency Vet Care fund, is named after the first cat the group ever rescued. This cat, named Shadow, was struck by a car and died before his rescuers could get him to a vet.
The animal rescue charity, In Memory of Shadow Emergency Vet Care fund, is named after the first cat the group ever rescued. This cat, named Shadow, was struck by a car and died before his rescuers could get him to a vet. - Contributed
CHANNEL-PORT AUX BASQUES, N.L. —

A recent decision by Port aux Basques town council to offer an emergency shelter for a local animal rescue group is welcome news, says Velda Tapp, who administers the group along with fellow rescuer Cathy Strickland.

The In Memory of Shadow Emergency Vet Care Fund, typically takes care of cats and troubled animals in the region. In conjunction with the SPCA and other regional animal welfare groups, the Shadow group works to curb feral cat populations and stop the dumping of pets.

Those efforts were hindered when a trailer they were using as a shelter to house cats awaiting adoption suffered severe damage over the winter.

“Our trailer is in really bad shape,” confirmed Tapp. “The floor is soggy, and the roof is leaking and falling in.”

In desperation the group wrote to Port aux Basques council, who found a small heated room at the former fish plant that will serve as temporary housing until the group can find a more permanent solution.

“We are fundraising to purchase or build a building,” says Tapp. “We have no idea where we’re going, if it will be in town.”

In addition to relocating the shelter, the group is also focused on efforts to bring the Cape Ray feral cat colony under control. Three housing units, which can serve as a home for nine feral cats, are about to be installed.

Currently the group has nine volunteers who will step in to take care of the cats.

They also intend to post hours for the public to swing by and adopt a cat or just drop off food and other donations.

Tapp says the shelter will have security cameras installed both inside and out for the protection of the animals.

A date for the relocation of the cats has not yet been determined.

“The town manager said they still have a few things to do before we can get the key,” said Tapp.

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