Man’s best friend is said to be a dog, but cats can be cuddly little buddies too. OK, they do ignore you except when you feed them and they don’t come when you call – ever. But there are people who find comfort in the furry little darlings and, if you’re like me, you have to admire their stubborn streak of independence. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need your help every now and again.
That realization is what is behind the Markham Cat Adoption and Education Centre (CAEC), a city-owned, Ontario SPCA-run operation located in the Thornhill Community Centre and Library. The centre provides education and public outreach through different programs.
The programs include reading therapy, community group visits, seminars and a partnership with the recreation and library departments, all with the goal of reducing cat euthanasia rates in the area.
With about 18 cats at any one time on the premises, the centre facilitates about 200 cats a year and is run by 34 active volunteers plus co-op students.
Recently, the Markham General and Animal Care Committees awarded the CAEC with an additional $3,000 to continue their work bringing the funding total over the years to $35,000. The centre has become a hub of sorts for animal lovers and others who have flocked to the centre for one of its weekly programs. Last year, the CAEC had more than 10,000 visitors that participated in everything from reading programs, vet talks and special photo days.
Photo: Markham Cat Adoption and Education Centre receives needed funds.