Sooke Animal Food and Rescue Society (SAFARS) turns 56 years this month.
In cat years, that is.
The private and volunteer-run group opened its doors on Feb. 5, 2012, becoming the first feral cat rescue and pet food bank in Sooke.
SAFARS founder Margarita Dominguez says the group saved, rehabilitated, and found homes for more than 300 abandoned cats in the Juan de Fuca region alone in its first three years.
“During their first decade, (volunteers) showed resilience and reliability by providing an excellent service to landowners faced with cat problems or by donating pet food to low-income families,” Dominguez said.
A goal of SAFARS is to build a shelter in the Sooke region. “Municipal barriers” have hampered those plans, but SAFARS created a foster family system for the cats over the years.
Last year, SAFARS rescued and sterilized 87 cats, vaccinated 65, microchipped 48, and found homes for most of them.
If you would like to help SAFARS continue its mission and assist with vet bills, cat food or a foster family, please call 778-352-2999, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website www.safars.org/contactus.