By Lyonel Doherty
Joeline Laliberte from Oliver has been rescuing animals since she was a little girl.
“It’s just in me. I can’t see an animal go without . . . it’s been a passion of mine forever,” she said outside “The Cattery” on Sawmill Road where she operates Paws and Claws Animal Grooming and Rescue.
Laliberte is currently applying for a temporary use permit to legally operate her rescue in the residential area.
She basically rescues animals (primarily cats) and adopts them out to good homes. She works with a lot of foster pet families, too.
In the last couple of years Laliberte has completed approximately 1,000 rescues.
People bring cats to her that they have found or can’t look after anymore (a litter of kittens, for example).
Laliberte often ends up paying a lot more out of her pocket than she makes adopting them out. Each adoption costs $160, which includes neutering and shots.
If the cat is feral, there isn’t much you can do, she said, other than finding it a barn to call home.
Her goal is to stop the overpopulation of cats and the proliferation of ferals.
“In town here it’s actually a big thing. The ferals are everywhere. They cause a lot of issues and people feel bad for them because there are so many and nobody can help them.”
Laliberte works closely with other rescue shelters such as AlleyCATS Alliance and Critteraid. She also gets a lot of support from Bosley’s pet store in Oliver.
She said the best way to stop the overpopulation of cats is to get them spayed and neutered. She realizes this can be too costly for some people, so she works with them to get it done.
Laliberte is truly dedicated and often finds herself getting up every two hours in the middle of the night to bottle feed a kitten.
She said obtaining this operating permit is very important to allow her to continue her work.
And Shari Rowland is one of her biggest supporters. In fact, the animal lover won an Interior Savings contest which allowed her to donate $200 to Paws and Claws. She added another $200 of her own money to boost the donation.
Rowland said her nephew saw an adorable kitten at Bosley’s, which was actually one of Laliberte’s rescues.
It was a five-week old feral that was brought to Paws and Claws and socialized.
“She is so loving and so sweet, and we are so happy that she was brought to her and not just left out to die,” Rowland said.
The elementary school teacher said she truly appreciates the work that Laliberte does, and she’s hoping other people will too by giving a donation. Instead of buying more things you don’t need, why not buy the animal lover in your family the perfect Christmas gift – a donation to Paws and Claws. Or turn your birthday party into a fundraiser for the shelter.
Even your bottle recycling money for $20 will go a long way to help.
Paws and Claws has an account with the bottle depot on Penticton, where people can direct their deposit money to the rescue operation.
For more information, call Laliberte at 250-689-9472 or email email@example.com.