Paws for a Beer a cause for cheer

Area animal rescue organization holds event to bring in funds for vet bills

An area animal rescue organization is holding an event to drum up funds and is asking residents to stop in for a cold one to help out.

The Paws for a Beer fundraiser, held by Maddy’s Paws and Claws Rescue, will take place at Wells Gray Bar and Grill on Feb. 2 and offers karaoke, silent auction items and, of course, cold refreshments.

“The funds go straight to the vet care of the animals—the spaying and neutering, vaccinations, de-worming, 90 per cent of them come in with fleas, lice or ear mites, so those need to be treated; the ear mites need to be cleaned out and the treatment needs to be provided for that as well,” said Madeline Capostinsky Beka, owner of Maddy’s Paws and Claws Rescue.

“The money goes right to the care of the animals.”

Last year the rescue took in 79 cats and four dogs, which is up more than 20 animals from the year previous.

Beka said the reason for such a high number of cats compared to their canine counterparts is the fact people just don’t seem to spay or neuter their cats.

Stray and feral cat populations are high in most towns, she said, but due to Clearwater not having a veterinary clinic, numbers are often higher here.

“There hasn’t been much help in Clearwater with (cats) because we’re far away from the vet clinic and they can’t fix animals here; it’s harder for people to get to Kamloops, which I totally understand, because you do have to be there early to drop the animals off to get spayed or neutered,” said Beka, who also has experience working with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

“So the small communities have become overrun with cats.”

This may be in large part due to people abandoning strays and boxes of kittens, to which Beka said she’d prefer people drop them off with her so she can help.

Beka has been running her rescue since 2004, but said business has picked up significantly in the last few years now that people see what she’s doing.

Even though she often has a large number of pets that need homes at any given time, she added she’s selective on who she gives animals to.

“If there are dogs who are difficult, we’ll do the training and take care of them to make sure they’ll go to the appropriate homes,” said Beka.

“Even cats have to go to an appropriate home; they have to be fit for that family. If you have a cat that’s not good with kids, people who have kids might want that cat because they think it has a neat colour, but it’s not going to happen, because the home has to fit with that animal as well.”

While Beka said she appreciates donations of food and blankets, vet bills become a significant issue especially since her rescue is self-funded.

This prompted Maddy’s Paws and Claws to organize the Paws for a Beer fundraiser, for which donations of silent auction items are still being accepted.

She also added the auction items don’t have to be pet related and those willing to donate can drop them off at the front desk of the Wells Gray Hotel or have them picked up by calling Beka at 778-220-6753 or Fay McCracken at 250-674-3068.

“I just hope people really support it and come out,” said Beka.

“We want to see animals in the community and surrounding areas be happy, healthy animals and we want to cut down on the cat population.”

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