For this week’s Charitable Choices feature, we spoke with Tasha Bukovnik, president of Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA). This non-profit organization is committed to the rescue and placement of kittens to ultimately find their happy, forever home.
Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.
At VOKRA we rescue, heal, then place cats – first in our network of foster homes, then in carefully matched, loving, forever homes. We are a passionate, volunteer-driven charity with extensive cat care experience. We believe that no-kill is the only responsible approach to rescue, that Trap-Neuter-Return works and that cats are AWESOME!
What problem does it aim to solve?
VOKRA’s mission is to end cat overpopulation and homelessness.
We formed our rescue in 2000, with the plan of caring for very young, mainly bottle-feeding kittens. This age rarely survived if found without a mother cat as very few people know how or are able to provide the round-the-clock feeding and necessary care. We soon found that older kittens, under the age at which they could safely be vaccinated, also would do much better in a foster home. We then started rescuing mother cats, both tame and feral, and today we rescue both kittens and adults. Each year we rescue more than 1,400 homeless or abandoned cats and kittens from the Lower Mainland.
When did you start/join it?
I joined VOKRA in 2015
What made you want to get involved?
I got involved in VOKRA because I’ve always loved cats and don’t think a home is a home without a cat! I followed VOKRA on social media and one day I saw they were looking for volunteers to join their communications team. As a communications professional I thought I could help so I joined and have been involved ever since.
What was the situation like when you started? How has it changed since?
VOKRA has consistently been rescuing more than 1,400 cats and kittens each year for at least the past 8 years and unfortunately, that hasn’t changed.
What more needs to be done?
In order to help control the cat population, people need access to low-cost spay and neuter services. In the Lower Mainland, we also have a shortage of pet-friendly housing and this results in people abandoning their cats.
How can our readers help?
Please ensure your pet is spayed or neutered!
The best way to help VOKRA is to donate at vokra.ca/donate. We rely entirely on donations, grants and adoption fees to fund our work. Medical bills account from more than 50% of our annual budget so we’re always in need of funds.
Do you have any events coming up?
We have our Walk for the Kitties coming up on May 15th. This is our largest fundraising event of the year and people can learn more at vokra.ca/walk
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity/non-profit that you love?