*In 2020, Kat’s Kritters Rescue will continue to transition from an adoption based rescue to a Sanctuary for most in need animals.
Sometimes animals come into rescue and, for various reasons, may not be good candidates for adoption to the general public. They may have health or behaviour issues, or simply be animals that thrive here and would struggle with yet another transition in their lives if forced to start over in a new home. Just like with humans, some animals are more challenging than others, but they are equally as deserving of love, care, and respect. We do not want to give up on them. When possible, Kat’s Kritters Rescue will offer permanent sanctuary to animals that would most benefit from remaining with us, meaning we will take responsibility for their care either here at the main rescue location, or in a permanent foster situation, for the duration of their lives. The following Kritters currently are in permanent care of the rescue. They are NOT available for adoption, but our Sanctuary Kritters still need your help! Making lifelong commitments to animals, especially those that are likely to require special care, is an expensive endeavor. Please consider sponsoring or donating towards their care!
2020 Sanctuary Sponsor(s) – Feed the Furbabies Canada
Rocky’s Story: Rocky came to KKR in late 2014. He was transferred in from a shelter in northern Manitoba due to being unadoptable and struggling in the shelter environment. Rocky was abused at his original home and as a result developed some fear aggression issues, especially with men. While Rocky has come far during his time at KKR, his reactivity and anxiety in new situations and when meeting new people has been hard for him to overcome. Unfortunately, many people are attracted to Rocky’s size and look, but seem uninterested in putting in the work and using the caution that would be required to keep Rocky, and any people, safe. In order to ensure Rocky does not get set up to fail, it has been decided that he will remain a permanent ward of KKR.
Juno, Paprika, Nutmeg, Merlin, Jack, Munster, Sookie
These kitties were all either long-term residents that had not been able to find an adoptive home, or they are feral/semi-feral/unsocialized and were not doing well in the shelter environment. In 2018, this beautiful group of cats were moved to a permanent foster situation, together, where they are doing great! These cats deserved a chance at life, and we are grateful to their foster for opening up their home/property to care for these cats and give them a chance to thrive!
2020 Sanctuary Sponsor(s) – Feed the Furbabies Canada
Boots’ Story: Boots came into rescue in December of 2018. He is a senior, front paw declawed kitty that will retire here at the rescue, where he will be safe and receiving quality care. His lifelong owner passed away and Boots moved in with a family member. Unfortunately, he didn’t handle the transition well, and the family member scheduled him for euthanasia. The vet clinic recognized that Boots still had lots of life left, and contacted the rescue in hopes we would be able to help. Boots came into rescue thin and with a large mass on his chest. He also desperately needed a dental. He has some discomfort from the amputation (declaw). It took some time (a few months) for Boots to start eating regularly and maintaining his weight, but he has finally settled in and is doing well. He is a friendly, sweet old boy. Rather than put Boots through yet another transition at this stage of his life, it was decided that he will remain at the rescue permanently.
Update: December 2019 – Boots has been diagnosed with early stages of kidney failure along with arthritis. He has been started on a daily medication to slow down the progression of the kidney disease and regular injections to help with the arthritis.
2020 Sanctuary Sponsor(s) – Karen Krupa
Rocky Blue Eyes’ Story: Rocky Blue Eyes originally came into rescue in April 2018 as a transfer from another organization. While I don’t know the circumstances of how he came to find himself there, I do know he hails from Churchill and that he was underweight with numerous skin lesions when he first entered the care of the other organization. He received excellent care there and was adopted, but escaped from his new owners and, because of his feral behaviour and nervousness, needed to be live trapped and ended up back at the shelter.
When Rocky first came to Kat’s Kritters, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. He was a hyper, very nervous dog. I didn’t dare risk having him off leash, but trying to walk him was like trying to walk a mad bull! He repeatedly would run the full length of the leash, and more than once I thought my shoulder would be dislocated! Trying to tether him was impossible. He would run to the end of the tether and snap himself backwards, over and over. I feared he would break his neck, so no more tethers. I left a leash attached, even in the house, so I could get close enough if needed, since he was nervous of anyone reaching towards him. Those leashes were chewed off each and every time! I was (and continue to be) amazed at how he manages to “lose” his collars as well. In the fenced area, the first night and day, Rocky paced the area nonstop, looking for an escape route. Once he decided I was a safe person, he went from wanting to escape to not wanting me out of his sight. He learned to jump the gates in the house and destroyed some walls and the banister with his attempts to know where I was at all times.
Slowly, but surely, he started to settle. He LOVES the other dogs, and by seeing that they trusted me, he began to do so too. It took some time, but he now actively seeks attention, although he is a weird one and has certain spots in the house or yard he consider “safe zones” such as the staircase to the basement. He will sometimes jump the gate at the top of the stairs if he knows I’m down there and will wait on the steps for me. Then he will give me a light smack with his paw to let me know he would like a chest or belly scratch. If I stop before he has had enough, the paw smacks continue. While normally a behaviour I would discourage, for a dog like Rocky, it is a big deal for him to actively seek that attention so I give it to him when he asks 🙂 He now loves being brushed and petted (at his request). When loose on the property, he regularly checks in with me and sometimes will follow along right beside me or so close behind that if I were to stop, he would run right into me. Sometimes he will quickly nudge me with his nose and then jump away when I look at him. A fun game for him! He loves to swim in the pond, hunt for mice, harass his dog friends (his play style is not the most elegant), and otherwise live his life free of pressure.
Rocky still has some of his feral dog behaviours, and is a work in progress. He is still skittish and does not trust being approached or reached towards. He has taught me patience. If I need him, I must sit and wait for his approach. He will jump away, or move out of reach if anyone tries to get too close. If I get frustrated, he knows it and any chance of getting near is lost. If he is loose in the yard, he will only come back inside through one particular gate, never through the doorway to the house or garage. If coming into the house from the fenced yard, he will not enter through an open door. I need to close the door and then he will happily come in through the doggy door. Rushing or forcing anything with Rocky can cause a setback in the trust we have established. He eats like a wild animal, opening his mouth as wide as he can and gulping his food down. His tail is tucked the entire time and he is on full alert. If I move towards him while he’s eating, or any noise occurs, such as a bowl clanging, he is gone like a shot. Attempts to help him be more comfortable at mealtime is a work in progress as he is scared to eat from a slow feeder or anything “different”.
He still hates confinement, although generally his escape attempts are simply because he feels he is missing out on something and wants to be with me or the other dogs. When he escapes, it is no longer done in panic. In the winter he would jump over the fence, and now in summer he works hard to dig his way under. He is always very proud of his accomplishments! Thankfully, he has shown no interest in leaving the property and always comes back in (when he is ready). He is a unique guy. He “screams” when he is overexcited or unsure – when new dogs or people are around. The sounds this dog can make still catch me off guard sometimes, and I know when someone is here that has never heard him before they think something horrible is happening. I’m forever reassuring people that he is fine, just weird 😉
Rocky and I have come a long way together. He is a dog that truly has found his peace here and is one of very few dogs that I can’t imagine adapting to a traditional home life. Knowing how long it has taken for us to make the strides we have, the thought of making him start over elsewhere…it would not be in his best interests.
So, Rocky Blue Eyes does not need to be uprooted yet again. He will stay in the care of the rescue and live his life free of fear and stress as part of the “pack” he now considers family. He has found sanctuary here. He is safe and he is loved, quirks and all.
2020 Sanctuary Sponsor(s) – Feed the Furbabies Canada
Seth’s Story: Seth was the first dog to come into rescue at the new location, back in October of 2016. He came in as an unclaimed stray so his history is unknown, but it is safe to say he had not had a great life prior. He was thin, covered in old scars, had a large hernia, and several broken teeth. He was selectively dog aggressive, which I have worked extremely hard on and I can now say that Seth is one of the most social dogs here. He does still have aggression towards cats and will never be able to be safely around them. He is very difficult to confine and gets stressed when his freedom is compromised. He jumps the fence, numerous times a day (he will also jump back in), and if not locked in the house when anyone comes, he will quickly scale the fence so that he can run to the end of the lane to guide any vehicles into the yard. Seth is a goofy dog, full of character. He loves peeing on things, sometimes not even waiting until a vehicle has stopped moving before peeing on the tires! I warn everyone that setting anything on the ground almost guarantees it will get peed on! He is beyond happy here. The freedom of country life so that he can express natural behaviour – exploring, digging, swimming, hunting rodents has helped him to thrive and would be difficult to safely replicate elsewhere.
2020 Sanctuary Sponsor(s): Robyn Olesky
Mindy’s Story: Mindy originally came into rescue in July of 2017. She was an owner surrender that had been adopted as a puppy from another organization. Mindy suffered from some separation anxiety and her high energy needs were not a good fit for her previous home. With some time and effort, Mindy adapted very well to life at the rescue and thrived in the rural environment! Her love for water, exploring, and running were all satisfied here. Unfortunately, Mindy received hardly any adoption interest during her time as an adoptable, and a difficult decision was made in June 2020 to transfer her to another organization to improve her chances at finding a forever home. Due to Mindy’s sensitive nature, it was made clear that should she struggle with the transition in any way, or not be able to find a suitable home fairly quickly, that she should come back to Kat’s Kritters. Sadly, Mindy did indeed struggle, but was not immediately returned to the rescue due to some miscommunications. She spent 5 weeks being shuffled from one place to the next – the other shelter, then to an adoptive home, then back to the shelter, then to a foster home, then back to the shelter again before I was finally able to get her returned to my care. Those 5 weeks were hard on Mindy as she was placed in too many new situations without adequate time to decompress and adjust to each before having another stressor piled on. This is knows as “trigger stacking” and is very stressful for any animal, but especially for a dog prone to anxiety. When Mindy returned, she was not the same happy go lucky dog that had been here before and it took her a couple of weeks to realize she was safe again and then she returned to her former goofy, fun loving self! After learning of the struggles Mindy had during her time away from the rescue, and knowing how happy she had always been here, the place she had known as home for nearly 3 years at that point, it was decided in July 2020 that Mindy would remain as a permanent resident here at Kat’s Kritters as a Sanctuary Kritter! For Mindy, this is the right choice for her mental and physical well-being and we hope she will have a long, enriching, healthy life as part of the KKR family.