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Cat centre grooming itself for big debut

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A community cat rescue is hoping for a picture purr-fect opening to help get its paws off the ground.


Craig Street Cats will host an official grand opening for its new adoption centre at 489 Madison St. in St. James from June 22 to 24.


"There’s light at the end of the tunnel," said founder Lynne Scott, who has been managing the feral cat population in Wolseley and across the city from her home since 2007.


The 2,400-sq. ft. centre will adopt out cats from the 11 feral cat colonies Scott and her volunteers manage in parts of the West End, North End, St. Vital and St. James. It will not take in surrendered pets.


Aside from draws, refreshments, food and face painting, the centre’s grand opening will include tours of the new facility, as well as seminars for individuals interested in managing their own colonies.


"We certainly can’t take on any more colonies," Scott said, noting CSC manages more than 400 cats.


"But we can train people to do it and give them access to resources."


In the meantime, Scott is still looking to sell another 475 virtual bricks, at $25 a piece, to help generate funds to put the finishing touches on the centre.


Scott is still working to install air purification and environment controls, gather furnishings for the centre’s five cat enclosures, and build a maternity suite for female cats and their kittens.


"Every dollar from these bricks goes right in here," she said.


"We’re the only group directly working to reduce the number of free-roaming cats in the city.

It’s something the city doesn’t have the money or manpower to take on."


D’Arcy Johnston, founder and owner of D’Arcy’s A.R.C., credited Craig Street Cats with being an important resource in dealing with Winnipeg’s out of control feral cat population — estimated to be between 50,000 and 100,000.


 The A.R.C. donated paint supplies for Scott’s new facility and has made a financial contribution, Johnston said.


"She deserves the respect and the support of the city and other shelters in the city," he said.


Johnston also knows first-hand the growing pains Scott is going through.


He began his shelter in the basement of his North End home 15 years ago. Since then, he has turned the shelter, now located on Century Street, into the largest no-kill facility in Western Canada.


What Scott needs now is to develop a good rapport with the city’s veterinary community and build a healthy donor base to keep her doors open, Johnston said.


"You learn from what’s happened," he said.


"She’s learned from her house, now she’s going to learn from her building and move on."


For more information, visit http://cats.wolseleygirl.com.


Facebook.com/TheMetroWPG
Twitter: @metroWPG

matt.preprost@canstarnews.com

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