Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica are in need of a new home.
The litter of wild kittens, two boys and two girls, was rescued last week from a backyard in 100 Mile House by Lakeland Veterinary Clinic co-owner Krystal Dickinson. She was tipped off by her parents, who live on First Street and had noticed the kittens running around their yard.
“They noticed the parents hanging around. They’re also feral cats they have seen quite often, so the main goal was to not see [the kittens] grow to adult cats and start breeding,” Dickinson said. “They asked if I could come grab them and we did, retrieving them out of a little hole in the fence. They were all piled in there in a little ball.”
After retrieving them, Dickinson took the kittens home to care for them and get them acclimated to humans. When she’s not managing the clinic, Dickinson runs the clinic’s unofficial rescue with the help of her personal assistant Brooklynn McMichael. In recent years they’ve helped re-home several wild cats.
The quartet they’re currently caring for are about six to seven weeks old and are quite rambunctious.
“They were pretty feisty the first day we got them. They were hissing and not letting us touch them, but now they know they’re safe and loved,” Dickinson said.
McMichael said she’s loved getting to work with the kittens over the last few days. She filmed a video of the rescue and posted it to the clinic’s TikTok page, calling it “the best day ever.”
“Coming to work and getting to save little lives? That’s awesome,” McMichael said. “They’re cute and I have just been cuddling them and getting them used to humans.”
Over the next two weeks, Dickinson said they plan to vaccinate the kittens and make them available for adoption. Each cat will cost $200 to cover the cost of their medical care, and applicants will have to fill out a form so the clinic can ensure they’re going to a good home.
While Dickinson is happy they were able to get Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica off the streets, she says they point to a larger problem in the community. Feral cats have been a persistent issue throughout 100 Mile House and can be “a little bit of a nuisance” for people like Dickinson’s parents.
“A cat colony just explodes really easily. You can go from one feral cat to 10 very quickly,” Dickinson said. “They can get pregnant as early as six months old, which isn’t ideal for any animal. They can have one litter of kittens and get pregnant again right away.”
That’s why Dickinson plans to spay and neuter the kittens to avoid future litters of cats. She encourages all cat owners to do the same, noting that the wild and domesticated cat populations often mix, resulting in these pregnancies.
She said that at Lakeland they will take trapped wild cats in to spay and neuter them. While they re-home them if possible, she said it’s designed to be a catch-and-release process.
Dickinson added that this year the clinic has had some issues with people dumping animals at Marmot Ridge. While the clinic has bought the building and plans to move in, that won’t be there for some time. She requests that people refrain from abandoning animals there.
“As soon as we bought the property there were a couple of people who dumped 12 feral cats there, most of them kittens. We have been doing the rescue and rehabilitation for the last year now because we want them to go to a good home,” Dickinson said. “So far we have been able to re-home everybody, but some of the adult cats are too feral to re-home appropriately, so they usually become barn cats.”
McMichael encourages anyone who sees more feral kittens in their neighbourhood to reach out to the clinic so they can catch them before they become adults. She noted they can be reached at 250- 395-3110 or by messaging the clinic’s Facebook, Instagram and TikTok accounts.