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On this show, we feature an interview with the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association, also known as VOKRA. We also feature an activist profile of the newest member of the Animal Voices team, Natalie Zaracko!
Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue (VOKRA)
Formed in 2000, with the plan of caring for very young, mainly bottle-feeding kittens, Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) is a volunteer-driven non-profit dedicated to the rescue of cats in the Lower Mainland. Mother cats, both tame and feral, soon joined the list as well. VOKRA coordinates rescue work with other groups in BC, has a no-kill policy and does not operate a traditional shelter. Instead, they have more than 350 individual foster homes throughout the Lower Mainland. In this way they are able to protect the very young from colds, distemper, parasites and other transmissible illnesses. In a home environment, cats are safe and well socialized, with lots of love and attention. VOKRA covers all of the costs and provides ongoing support to foster families.
Another crucial part of VOKRA’s work is their trap/neuter/return program. Teams of volunteers humanely trap feral cats and kittens. Pregnant feral mothers are cared for through birthing and until their kittens are weaned, at which time they are spayed/neutured and the kittens are socialized so that they can be adopted. If the mother cannot be tamed, she is returned to her original location where volunteers ensure food and water are available daily, and the cat’s health can be monitored. They also neuter feral male cats, and either adopt them out or return them as appropriate, with the same care arrangements.
VOKRA has grown rapidly since its founding, from approximately 150 kittens and adult cats per year to over 800 in 2008, and 1,835 in 2014. VOKRA has become a well-known and respected organization in the animal rescue and welfare community. They engage in public education using print, radio and television media, at community events and exhibitions, and through our publications: website, quarterly newsletter, annual calendar, and information pamphlets. VOKRA does all of this entirely with dedicated volunteer workers, private donations, and bequests.
Click here to learn more about VOKRA, or to see what volunteer positions are available.
Activist Profile: Natalie Zaracko
We at Animal Voices are pleased to introduce the newest member of our team, Vancouver-based animal advocate Natalie Zaracko! A longtime vegan and graduate of Vancouver Film School, Natalie is passionate about both animal advocacy and the arts. Currently working in Canadian television, she is also a moderator of Veggieboards – one of the largest and most active vegan & vegetarian forums on the internet. Natalie joins us to share how she came to ditch animal products, why she stands up for animal rights, and (being a self-described nerd!) her tips & experiences advocating for animals as an introvert. We’re feeling very fortunate to have her contributing her expertise & enthusiasm to the Animal Voices Show!