Cat-filled camper van makes trek from Alberta

Women from Saanich vet clinic help make room for Fort McMurray pets

Sarah Duncan uses a syringe to feed a kitten during the trip back to Vancouver Island from Edmonton. Duncan and Katelyn Deacon transferred 50 cats from an Edmonton shelter to make room for displaced Fort McMurray animals.

Sarah Duncan uses a syringe to feed a kitten during the trip back to Vancouver Island from Edmonton. Duncan and Katelyn Deacon transferred 50 cats from an Edmonton shelter to make room for displaced Fort McMurray animals.

Jacqueline Albrecht of Sidney is housing 20 cats from Edmonton that she is hoping will be adopted out in short order.

They arrived from Edmonton, and were part of a 51-cat adventure by volunteers Sarah Duncan and Katelyn Deacon who work as veterinary assistants at the Broadmead Veterinary Clinic.

Duncan, of Victoria, and Deacon, of Sidney, made a 40-hour return trek to Edmonton in a Cat’s Cradle camper van, starting at 4 a.m. on May 12. The cats were in Edmonton shelters and have been removed to make room for the stray and surrendered pets of the Fort McMurray wildfire. They arrived home the next day on the 7 p.m. ferry.

“We take as many cats as we can transport safely,” Duncan said. “It’s actually not the first time we’ve done it.”

On Jan. 1, Duncan and another vet assistant did the same thing, driving through the night from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning, just because there is so many cats facing euthanization in Edmonton.

“We jumped on the bandwagon. If anyone anywhere asks to help with animal rescue, we do it,” Duncan said.

During the trip the vet assistants are kept busy with road stops to feed the cats, including the bottle-fed kittens, clean them and make sure they’re hydrated.

Despite having a camper crammed with crates, it’s actually quite a peaceful journey, she added.

“I think the cats get into the rhythm and movement of the van, and there are kind people and voices. We use pheromone spray, so it’s a lot calmer than you’d think.”

Albrecht, a volunteer with Cat’s Cradle Animal Rescue in Sidney, helps co-ordinate the trip, as well as the fostering and adoption of the cats. They figured they’d get about 40, but ended up with 51.

“We managed to foster out about 15 cats, and I have 20 of the cats right now,” said Albrecht. “There are about nine ferals that went to a barn.”

The rest are seeking adoption, including about six older cats, and two or three pregnant cats, as Cat’s Cradle does not have a specific facility for the cats.

“Everyone wants kittens but we have all kinds of cats that need a loving home,” Albrecht said.

Visit catscradleanimalrescue.com for more information.

This story was updated on May 24 to correct an error that Jacqueline Albrecht is a board of director with the Cat’s Cradle.

Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read