|"In fourteen years, VOKRA co-founder Karen Duncan had one vacation – and it took an entire organization of volunteers and a reality television crew to trick her into it. Aside from appearing on Operation Vacation, running a cat rescue out of her renovated basement in Kitsilano rarely gave Duncan a moment of peace. Things are now starting to turn around. With the help of a large donation, VOKRA has opened the doors to an operations centre, and VOKRA’s revolving cat door is now being tended in shifts by smiling volunteers wearing cheeky lab coats with ‘cat slave’ embroidered in purple. “It is not a shelter” specifies Duncan, “the operation centre is an intake space where the cats are assessed, health checked and are entered in our system. Cats are there to be allowed to settle, have their temperament assessed and then sent to the appropriate foster home."|
"VOKRA is a no-kill organization and has grown every year since its origin. In 2013 they have rescued 1845 cats and kittens, spayed or neutered 1700 adult cats, and adopted out 1502. Entirely volunteer-run VOKRA does not operate a shelter. There is a network of over 300 foster homes that are throughout metro Vancouver. Each cat has a detailed online profile for adopters to browse. A team of matchmakers work with adopters to find cats with compatible personalities and habits, or even cats with specific desired markings or breed characteristics. “Adopting a cat is for life” adds Duncan, “our team of volunteers are an essential link for the hundreds of cats and kittens we place each year. They work very hard to match the right kitten or cat to the adopters' home and of course, vice versa." Duncan's advice to people looking to adopt is to consider an adult cat, "their temperament is known, they are trained, they are not as busy and into things as kittens, and they are so often overlooked. Our adults have often come to us when lost or turned out their homes to the streets and deserve a wonderful home for the rest of their lives.""
- V.I.A.'s Van City Kitty editor, Alexis Baran
We're excited that TELUS is helping us bring you the Most Awesome Awards. A longtime friend of V.I.A., TELUS is passionate about giving back to the community by recognizing, celebrating and supporting great community partners, friends and neighbours making a difference in the lives of others. Watch in the coming weeks as we roll out all of the Most Awesome Awards presented by TELUS.