By Maureen Romero, GTHS Volunteer
As you travel down the Tenth Line in Collingwood, you see the Georgian Triangle Humane Society nestled into the landscape on the right-hand side of the road. To those passing, it is just bricks and mortar. But to the animals that pass through its doors, unwanted, neglected, lost, sometimes sick, it is much more than that. It is a safe haven in a world that has turned its back on them. But a new chapter has begun in their lives, thanks to the exceptional staff and volunteers at this shelter.
One of those volunteers is a lady by the name of Pat Cosgrove. Pat recalls being around animals ever since she was a baby. Her first rescue mission was when she was a young lady living in her very first apartment. A neighbor had informed her that a box of kittens had been abandoned. Pat went out that night and found the kittens, which had been left to fend for themselves. They ranged in age from four to twelve weeks and were in desperate need of Pat’s care. She brought them home and bathed them, fed them and cared for them until she was able to find them all their forever homes. After this, it became a regular routine of anyone finding a stray cat, to bring it to Pat to be loved and cared for.
Pat has volunteered for many rescue groups over the years. She has been with the Georgian Triangle Humane Society for four years. She works on the reception desk and performs many administrative duties, but she is in her element when she has young orphaned foster kittens to care for. Nothing makes her happier than to come home to a litter of kittens, all demanding her attention. And her greatest reward is when she sees these healthy and happy kittens going to their forever homes, which the Georgian Triangle Humane Society has found for them.
Throughout the months of May to October, the GTHS is inundated with kittens. They stay at the shelter for a short period of time in order to receive their vaccines and to be spay/neutered. All GTHS kittens are spay/neutered, microchipped, treated for parasites and vaccinated prior to adoption. They are adopted out with a complimentary vet visit and six weeks of free pet insurance. The vast majority of the kittens that come into the shelter are orphaned and not ready to enter the shelter system. In addition, many late stage pregnant cats will come to us in need. These queens and kittens will then enter the foster program, where they will live in homes like Pat Cosgrove’s, until they are ready for adoption. Without volunteers like Pat, these cats and kittens would not receive the help they desperately need.
While in these foster homes the expenses run very high. Kittens need to be fed two to six times per day, with products such as kitten formula, canned kitten food and kitten kibble. A litter of kittens can cost up to $100.00 per week to feed, and they typically live with the foster parent for four to eight weeks. In addition, routine deworming, vaccines and nursing items such as hot packs and bottles, all add to the expenses. Each kitten must also be spayed or neutered prior to adoption.
To help off set these costs, the Georgian Triangle Humane Society has submitted Pat’s story for the Pet Hero’s award for the change to win the $1000.00. It will greatly help to offset the cost of veterinary bills, food bills and general operating costs. Not only this, but it would be a great honour for Pat Cosgrove to know that her many years of dedication to animal welfare has brought about a wonderful and much needed gift for the GTHS.