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Resident proposes feral cat feeding station in Lake Cowichan

Council approached on setting up program
Lake Cowichan Mayor Tim McGonigle wants a collaborative approach in dealing with stray cats in the community. (Citizen file photo)

Lake Cowichan Mayor Tim McGonigle wants to see a collaborative approach between local organizations that rescue stray and feral cats and dogs in the community.

At a recent committee of the whole meeting, local resident Margarita Dominquez requested the town’s support in the creation of a feline-feeding station and a spay/neuter program for them to address the rising feral and abandoned cat population in the area.

She said she was a founder of a number of other cat-rescue organizations in Port Renfrew, Sooke and Jordan River that helped hundreds of cats, as well as a pet-food bank in Victoria that fed the dogs of homeless people.


Dominquez said there is an increasing number of stray cats in Lake Cowichan, largely due to housing pressures on pet owners during the ongoing housing crisis that is forcing many to abandon their cats.

“They keep reproducing many times during the year and, if this continues, it will be a disaster,” she told council.

“It’s better to keep them from reproducing than killing them. I’m not asking council for anything and I’m offering my services for free. I’m offering to get a new community of volunteers here and then create a little feeding place for them where we can capture them, have them spayed or neutered, and bring them back to the place.”

Dominquez said funding for the initiative would be raised by fundraising campaigns, like bottle drives, and organizations would be approached for donations.

“We’d be willing to work with the town’s planning department to find an appropriate location for the feeding station,” she said.

McGonigle said he’s concerned that the feeding station would also attract other animals, like bears.

“We have a bear problem in this town and we’re doing everything we can to mitigate the attractants,” he said.

“So I’m wondering if a cat-feeding station would be a problem.”


Dominquez replied that food would only be out when volunteers were at the station to feed the cats, and would be put away when they are not there.

McGonigle pointed out that there is another organization in the community, called Su Casa Rescue, that rescues animals and asked Dominquez if she had been in contact with them about collaborating on their goals.

Dominquez said she hasn’t because Su Casa mostly deals with dogs, and has only been rescuing some cats as there is no other organization in town doing that.

McGonigle suggested that Dominquez reach out to Su Casa and see if some kind of cooperation between the two groups can be arranged.

“I would like to see a collaborative approach on this,” he said.

Dominquez said she would contact Su Casa.

“If they want to help us feed and capture cats for spaying and neutering, I think that would be perfect,” she said.

Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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