Discovery Channel will highlight the work being done by the local veterinary hospital

The Regional Animal Protection Society’s cat shelter is a one-of-a-kind facility in Canada, among the largest in North America.

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Come for the paw, stay for the purr.

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Discovery Channel has a new TV series called Pets and gatherers highlighting the work done by the Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) on May 10 in an advance, Fund raising before the series makes its on-air debut on May 12.

Yes, popcorn is included in your $25 ticket for screening at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Ballroom (7-9 p.m. Tuesday); all the money raised goes to RAPS and the work they do. The screening coincides with the April 30 reopening of the cat sanctuary to visitors, another major fundraiser for RAPS, said Eyal Lichtmann, CEO of the company.

“It’s huge for us,” Lichtmann said. “COVID has hit us really, really hard financially.”

Pets and Pickers is a Storage Wars-style reality show, with ‘pickers’ roaming 175 abandoned storage bins donated by U-Pak for the company’s thrift store. Each bin has 15,000 liters of space.

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“You could put your whole condo in there,” Lichtmann said. “It’s really exciting what we found, everything crazy you can imagine.”

One container was full of S&M paraphernalia, another included a deactivated bomb, another contained only cookies – 10,000 cookies.

Other items discovered so far – there are two open bins per show – include an original Star Wars script, expensive artwork and jewelry, stamp and coin collections, unworn clothing , furniture and kitchen items, as well as your discoveries of more pedestrian weapons and drugs.

The money raised goes to veterinary care.

The Applewood Auto Group donated 7,000 square feet of space to RAPS for 15 years, Vancity helped fund the opening of the animal hospital, and local builders donated $350,000 in free construction. Donors have paid for ultrasound and x-ray machines, even for the only hyperbaric chamber for animals in Canada.

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In total, Lichtmann said, the Regional Humane Society has donated more than $3 million to animal health and care.

Eyal Lichtmann, executive director of the Regional Humane Society, and Shena Novotny, manager of the adoption center and cat shelter, with some of their feline boarders in Richmond on Tuesday.
Eyal Lichtmann, executive director of the Regional Humane Society, and Shena Novotny, manager of the adoption center and cat shelter, with some of their feline boarders in Richmond on Tuesday. Photo by Jason Payne /PNG

The society started in 1995, caring for feral cats in Richmond. This led to today’s cat sanctuary and the over 500 cats that live there. Nowadays, as soon as society is informed of a feral colony, it traps the cats, neuters and neuters them all, and those who can be socialized are adopted.

If a feral cat cannot be socialized, it is kept at the sanctuary for life; RAPS does not do trap and release after a cat has been spayed or spayed.

“There really isn’t a feral cat problem in Richmond anymore,” Lichtmann said.

If there’s an animal group in British Columbia or the SPCA that’s bigger, or a cat sanctuary in Canada as big as the Richmond facility, Lichtmann hasn’t heard of it.

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Staff have had to be reduced due to the pandemic and the company relies heavily on volunteers to bring out 400 boxes of dry and wet cat food a day, change hundreds of litter boxes twice a day and track every cat with symptoms. medical problems to give them their prescriptions morning and evening.

The sanctuary is open to the public between 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, admission to help defray costs is $12. Visitors will be greeted not only by friendly felines, Lichtmann said, but also by a property that’s a Club Med for cats.

“It’s a really nice place,” Lichtmann said.

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Benjamin M. Yerger