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RAPS asks public to keep an eye out for neglected animals

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 3:17 PDT, Mon August 10, 2020

Last Updated: 3:20 PDT, Mon August 10, 2020

The Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) is reminding the public to be aware of animals in their neighbourhoods who may be neglected or abused during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The reminder comes after 10 animals were rescued from a home in Richmond. Their guardian was out of the country, supposedly unable to return, when the pandemic began. The animals were ostensibly being cared for by family and friends, which can be a difficult task for people not living at the home. 

The animals were discovered in horrible housing conditions after neighbours alerted police. There were also more animals than legally allowed at the home.

“The eyes and ears of the public are our number one source for ensuring all animals are adequately cared for and not neglected or abused,” says Eyal Lichtmann, RAPS CEO. “It is important during these COVID-19 times, where people may have trouble returning home for extended periods of times, that people be on the lookout for neglected or abandoned animals. We want to thank the people who took the time to get involved in this specific case and ensure these animals were rescued.”

The 10 animals—two dogs, two adult cats, two kittens and four adolescent cats—were taken into the care of RAPS on Friday, with the help of Richmond RCMP. All the animals were infested with fleas and the dogs’ coats were badly matted. 

Fleas are especially dangerous to kittens who may become anemic and die. All the animals are unaltered and it is believed the mother cat had possibly two sets of kittens while the owner was away.

RAPS has referred the case to the BC SPCA Animal Cruelty Division, which is responsible for animal neglect and abuse investigations in the province.

“This is a challenging time,” Lichtmann said. “There are reasons why some people’s normal routines may be disrupted due to COVID-19, but that does not abrogate responsibility for your pets. It is imperative that we maintain proper care of animals. Again, we ask the public to be aware of animals in your neighbourhoods. If you see something, say something.”

RAPS is responsible for animal care and control in the City of Richmond as contracted operator of the RAPS City of Richmond Animal Shelter. RAPS also runs Canada’s largest cat sanctuary, the community-owned, not-for-profit RAPS Animal Hospital, two thrift stores, a fostering network and provides education and animal advocacy throughout BC.

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