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Cowichan cats toasting the Pepsi Generation

Pepsi is donating $10,000 to Cowichan Cat Rescue to to help local low-income families spay and neuter their felines. - John McKinley/file
Pepsi is donating $10,000 to Cowichan Cat Rescue to to help local low-income families spay and neuter their felines.
— image credit: John McKinley/file

They may not be much for drinking pop, but Cowichan’s felines definitely have a soft drink of choice.

They’ve joined the Pepsi generation after Cowichan Cat Rescue won a $10,000 grant as part of the Pepsi Refresh Everything challenge.

Online voters chose the local charity, which plans to use the money to pay for the spaying and neutering of cats owned by low-income families.

“This was basically a national popularity contest, and this little feral cat rescue from the western edge of our country won in our category,” Cowichan Cat Rescue’s Jean Hamilton said in a press release.

“We have a year from Aug. 1, to use these funds. Not only those on social assistance and disability benefits, but anyone living from Malahat to Chemainus who can provide proof they are living below the poverty line as set by Stats Can will qualify.

This low-income assistance program is in addition to Cowichan Cat Rescue’s year-round program to spay and neuter wild and feral cats.

Prior to this grant, low-cost clinics only occurred every year or two, when a vet clinic donated resources and staff.

According to the press release, there were programs available through some social agencies and the SPCA for assisted spays and neuters but such programs no longer exist in the Cowichan Valley.

“The low-cost program will, we believe, make a significant difference to the numbers of free roaming cats in the valley in future years, and should reduce the strain on the SPCA,” Hamilton said.

For more on the program, or other ways to help Cowichan Cat Rescue, visit www.cowichancatrescue.org, or call Hamilton at 250-743-5193.

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