Cowichan Cat Rescue is taking over the work of Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society after the society announced it closed its doors for good in January.
Cowichan Cat Rescue is taking over the work of Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society after the society announced it closed its doors for good in January. (Gazette file)

Cowichan Cat Rescue is taking over the work of Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society after the society announced it closed its doors for good in January. Cowichan Cat Rescue is taking over the work of Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society after the society announced it closed its doors for good in January. (Gazette file)

Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society closes doors after 13 years

COVID-related fundraising issues cited, Cowichan Cat Rescue takes over work in the area

The Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society has closed its doors after servicing the area for more than 13 years.

Kilby Cottingham, a director with the LCARS, said the animal rescue organization shut down on Jan. 13, largely due to fundraising complications related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our fundraising, based mostly on contact with the public, was made impossible by the restrictions of COVID-19,” she said.

“Our usual corporate and private donors also felt the sting of the pandemic with donations dwindling to nothing as people experienced their own forms of hardship. So, we simply could not keep going. But the good news is that our local feral colonies are healthy and under control, and we currently have only two cats in our system that are awaiting paid surgeries and with homes to go to afterwards, so things have ended on quite a good note.”


Cottingham said the LCARS often had dozens of cats being cared for in the system at any given time, and its grand total over its 13 years of operation was about 2,400 cats, domestic and feral, which the society has helped with vet care, spaying or neutering, returning them to colonies, or adopting them out to good homes.

She said that one result is that feral colonies in the Lake Cowichan region have been drastically reduced, or naturally eliminated, without inhumane culling.

“The need now for an organization such as ours is significantly less than it was years ago, but our animal population will still need support, so Cowichan Cat Rescue, a long-established Cowichan Valley charity, will be stepping up to help with the care of cats in need from now on,” Cottingham said.

“They will operate with a network of our volunteers and theirs, with programs designed to reduce suffering in our animal population.”


Cottingham thanked all the businesses that supported the LCARS over the years, and others who donated and helped the society in many ways.

“And, finally, we give endless thanks to our volunteers, colony managers, and foster homes for being so brave, kind, and selfless through thick and thin,” she said.

“You have helped so many animals.”

Jean Hamilton, Cowichan Cat Rescue’s managing trustee, acknowledged that the CCR’s many programs, including its foster and adoption programs for kittens, and its low-cost spay/neuter program, will take over from the LCARS.

“Of necessity, due to COVID-19 restrictions mostly, we will be doing a gradual start, but while we are getting a look at the situation in the community, we are hoping to hear from the wonderful people who have been working with LCARS in recent years,” Hamilton said.


“We will need trappers and foster homes and fundraisers and transporters in the area. The CCR is very grateful for all that LCARS did over the years. We hope to be able to have a smooth transition to provide for the feline population of Lake Cowichan, Youbou, Honeymoon Bay and area.”

Hamilton said the CCR wants to hear from anyone who would like to know more about its programs and what can be done to help.

Contact information is on the CCR’s Facebook page and on its website at

animal welfare

Just Posted

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Neighbours have reached out to media on several occasions with complaints about the property

Darcy Rhodes (left) says his grandfather’s bonsai trees are his ‘babies.’ (Courtesy of Tamara Bond)
Construction takes place on Bamfield Main in early February 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY CTV NEWS)
Ongoing Bamfield roadwork unrelated to planned $30M fix

Construction by Mosaic unrelated to $30M upgrade ordered in wake of fatal bus crash

Protestors against old growth logging gather in front of the courthouse in Victoria on Thursday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fairy Creek protesters gather at Victoria courthouse

Logging company seeks injunction to remove blockades near its Port Renfrew operation

One person is dead after a camper van caught fire Thursday morning in Victoria's Beacon Hill Park. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: One person dead after vehicle fire in Beacon Hill Park

Investigation into Victoria death in early stages

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Crews disassemble the iconic red and white KFC bucket from a sign on Goldstream Avenue. (Photo courtesy of Mark Schoor)
Iconic KFC bucket removed from Goldstream Avenue

Popular fast-food chain closes Langford location

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Most Read