Brisbane Valley Cat Rescue (BVCR) situated in the Brisbane Valley, in a beautiful area known as the valley of the lakes, is dedicated to the care of older cats who, through no fault of their own find themselves in need of a safe haven. This is just one of the by-products of our ageing population in this country. So many older people are finding themselves in the unenviable position of having to part with their much loved feline companion. Often times we’ve heard of cases where people have put their own wellbeing at risk and put off going in for much needed medical treatments or transfer into nursing facilities because they had no-one to care for their pet. What we have to understand is that quite often these cats are very much loved and have been that persons only companion for a number of years. The bonds go deep and the idea that their friend may be harmed in any way is not something that they are prepared to accept. Often times their worlds are being ripped apart and the loss of their pet is one step too far unless they are guaranteed that it will continue to be loved and cared for.
So how does BVCR fill this void?
All older cats once accepted into BVCR undergo a thorough health check. Some of these cats are in perfect health and can be placed into our “Seniors for Seniors” program. These cats remain BVCR cats and although they live out their lives with their new person or family, BVCR covers their vet costs and on rare occasions their feed and litter as well.
Why do we have a “Seniors for Seniors” program?
Many older people have had a pet all of their lives, but when their last pet passes away they are reluctant to get another because they worry what will become of that pet when something happens to them. They are unable to make a long term commitment and also worry about covering emergency vet costs etc. This means that in some cases these people live out the remainder of their lives alone. We all know of the various studies that have been done extolling the health benefits of having a pet. This program enables people who otherwise couldn’t manage it to have a companion without the additional stress of long term commitment. We organise any vet appointments that may be needed if necessary, along with grooming for the longer haired cats, if required.
These cats will return to BVCR if required in the future should the person be transferred in a nursing facility. BVCR will also care for the cats during short term hospital stays or holidays etc. If nursing homes are agreeable we can also organise for the cat to make occasional visits for a cuddle session and to put the ex owners mind at ease that their little mate is receiving the best of care.
What about those cats that don’t qualify for the “seniors for seniors” program?
Some of the cats come in with medical issues be they minor, chronic or life threatening. These cats are assessed by our wonderful vets and put onto required medications or special diets. On rare occasions emergency surgery may be required. An amazing number have dental and chiropractic issues are detected in the initial consultation. Naturally all special diets are catered for and each cat receives the best of care and lots of interaction with our wonderful volunteers. These cats have earned their safe haven in retirement just as their human counterparts have earned their peace of mind.
Special long term foster homes.
We are forever grateful to the wonderful people who are prepared to open their homes to these special needs cats and as always the BVCR guarantee is that the cat is always welcome back at any time if needed.
What about cats that are a little different?
Some people request that their companion remain within the BVCR shelter environment rather than go out to another home. This will often occur with cats that have always been very shy or aggressive with anyone other than their owner. Some other cats will form a very deep bond with only one person and these cats are often better placed, at least in the short term, remaining at the shelter until that one right person appears.
Do you do straight forward adoptions of older cats?
Other people will request that their feline friend be placed up for adoption into another loving permanent home. However, even in this situation the BVCR guarantee that the cat can return at any time stands firm. There is also a 30 day settling in period to ensure that the mix between cat and new family is correct. Of course BVCR is always available via phone or email for any questions the new family may have.
Do we only take cats?
There are times when 2 or more pets of different species have grown up together in a home and bonded. We have seen that the loss of their much loved and trusted person is hard enough for them to understand and the emotional trauma can be overwhelming if they are them torn apart no matter how well-meaning it may be. In these situations, whenever possible, we will do everything in our power to keep the remaining small family together into the future. There are times when they grow apart once they meet other people or feline or canine friends but this is not always the case and sometimes the life long bond remains.
As you will understand our dedication to the welfare of older cats does not come without a price. We do ask that if anyone is planning on putting their cat into the care of BVCR that they include a bequest in their will to cover the future care of their companion. You can go to https://www.brisbanevalleycatrescue.com/donationssponsorship.htm where you’ll find the required wording etc for making a bequest.
If an older person is going into a nursing home or moving in with family who cannot accommodate their pet, then we ask that the pet be sponsored while in our care. Sponsorship rarely covers all the pets needs but at least it helps.
Please consider for a moment the ramifications to your own pets if you were no longer able to care for them and what would happen to them if there were no NO KILL shelters available. They have given you their love and trust, would you be prepared to simply allow them to be put down because you had to move, became ill or were unable to care for them for various reasons. If you would want them to have a second chance at a loving home then please consider making a donation, however small, to the continuing running costs of the shelter. This can be done via the donations page using either PayPal or your credit card. You may also consider sponsoring a particular cat or kitten during it's stay at the shelter and this can also be done via the donations page (down the bottom) and once you select the sponsorship button there is an area for you to put the name of your preferred sponsorship cat or kitten and you will then be listed on the website as sponsor. Sponsorship fees are either $40 per month or $450 per annum. You are not locked in in any way and can cease the sponsorship at any time.
Provide a safe haven for all cats and kittens admitted.
Provide fresh water and good quality food at all times.
Provide shelter from the elements.
Provide access to vet care when required.
Provide ample room for play and exercise.
Consider the individual needs both physical and mental of each cat or kitten.
Match the right cat to the right family to ensure a happy future for both human and feline.
Ensure that all cats and kittens are desexed "prior" to adoption.
Ensure that when, in the best interests of the cat, due to either severe mental or physical distress, the cat is put to sleep it is done quickly and calmly by a qualified vet to prevent continued suffering.
Continue to advocate for desexing and support programmes aimed at reducing the huge numbers of domestic pets euthanased each year.
This shelter is dedicated to the wellbeing of not only it's feline charges but also their new human families.
It's not enough to simply place a cat or kitten into a new home. There must be follow up care if or when required and if, for any reason, the family finds that they must part with their feline family member in the future they need to know that it will be welcomed back until another loving family is found.
BVCR firmly believes that placing the right cat with the right family not only ensures the future well being of the cat but also enriches the lives of the human family members. Those at home all day enjoy the unconditional love and company provided by a faithful companion and children, who because of the isolation often encouraged by todays technology benefit from the friendship and interaction and in the process learn responsibility and respect for all living creatures.
BVCR is dedicated to helping people to understand that a cat isn't just a cat. No two are the same and each is molded by it's past experiences. Cats are extremely complex but their devotion to their human family is deep and abiding.