Josee hangs out under in a cat cave under a coffee table at the Zemlak’s. Photo by Myra Nicks/Sylvan Lake News

Family offers home to feline friends

The Zemlaks foster cats rescued by Sylvan pet shelter

Loreena and Kim Zemlak have a garage and house full of cats of all sizes and colours. Both of them have a deep love foranimals and as a foster family for pets, they have provided plenty of space and support for their feline friends to thrive. Mostrecently they rescued a litter of two week old kittens near Ponoka that Loreena fed by hand with syringes full of milk.

Melody one of the many rescue cats in the Zemlak home.Photo by Myra Nicks/Sylvan Lake News

The Zemlaks are one of the main families that the Sylvan Lake and Area Serenity Pet Shelter Society depends on to take care ofanimals who are abandoned. Many of them are flung out of moving vehicles and are injured in the process. President of thesociety, Melanie Crehan said she has had an increase in calls specifically about people throwing cats out of their vehicles, onemost recently at a 4-way stop in Eckville.

Crehan also shared the story of two kids wandering around Sylvan Lake with two kittens trying to find a home for thembecause an adult had threatened to kill the cats in front of the two children.

“Some people treat animals as ‘just as.’ When [an animal] is diminished like this then [people] think they are allowed to beabusive,” she said.

All the pets that are rescued by the shelter are spayed and neutered before they are placed in homes. The shelter is currentlystruggling with accumulated debt due to the cost of taking care of the animals and getting them ready to be housed.

“We want to be able to help at least fifty people get their pets fixed,” she said.

Crehan has applied for two grants for spaying and neutering but there is no guarantee she will get the funding needed. Shesays the shelter depends on donors and fundraising to support it’s operation.

Morgan plays on one of the many cat-friendly structures throughout the Zemlak home and garage. Photo by Myra Nicks/Sylvan Lake News

The Zemlaks currently have thirty cats in their home. Not all of them are foster cats but some need a place to go soon. “We’rehoping to find homes within the next week for a few of them,” Loreena said.

Ways that people can get involved are to host a fundraising event, volunteer, adopt a pet or become a sponsor. For other waysto help out you can check out the shelter’s website.

To adopt one of the Zemlak’s foster cats call Melanie at (403) 505-2925.



myra.nicks@eckvilleecho.com

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