CF Families

Purchase a Calendar to Support Feral Felines at HMC Dockyard

Pierre’s Alley Cat Society is back with a 2024 calendar. Founded over 20 years ago by Pierre Filitreault, a Canadian Armed Forces member, the organization’s mission is to ease the suffering of stray and feral cats.

In 2005, feral cats were a common sight around HMC Dockyards in Halifax. The cats were often fed, but none were spayed or neutered, nor was there an organized program to care for them.

Orancina, a resident of PACS, is not able to meow, she can only make small peeping sounds. She is beautiful and shy, but she will come out to see Pierre. She is known for making an entrance and arriving late for treats and mealtimes. She lives at the Saraphyna Shelter.

Raising Funds to Support Feral Felines

The situation was bound to deteriorate with no way to control the cat population or ensure their health. Pierre set out to make a difference and established Pierre’s Alley Cat Society (PACS), a non-profit registered charity dedicated to easing the suffering of feral and stray cats. PACS has a Board of Directors comprised of volunteers with backgrounds in healthcare, administration, marine engineering, business and education.

Along with a network of volunteers, Pierre maintains two shelters at HMC Dockyard. The Saraphyna Shelter is at the north end of the yard, and the Cattyshack is at the dockyard’s south end. Approximately 30 cats are cared for between both heated shelters, which have water and food for the felines. The cats are regularly de-wormed to ensure the good health of the colony.

A few of the feline residents that PACS cares for.

How People Can Help

The society raises funds in a few ways:

Purple Poppies: The society sells purple poppies. A purple poppy represents animals that have died during service and conflicts and is worn next to a traditional red poppy.

Calendars: The calendars cost $10 plus $2 for shipping. People pay with PayPal (4 per cent goes to PayPal) or e-transfer at [email protected] or order them by email at here. When you email the organization, the society receives 100 per cent of the payment. Make sure you include your mailing address and the number of calendars you wish to order.

Sponsor a Cat: The organization has two sponsorship programs. The junior program is intended to involve children and youth. They can sponsor a Dockyard Cat for one year with a one-time payment of $60 or monthly installments of $5. While the fee does not fully cover the cost of caring for the selected cat, it does contribute to their care, thus instilling a sense of responsibility and satisfaction. The second, the General Sponsorship Program, covers the cost of monthly care of the cat. People can sponsor a Dockyard Cat for one (or more) months for $35.00 per month or one year for $420. This amount contributes to food, vitamins, veterinary care, and shelter. When becoming a sponsor, a sponsorship certificate with the cat’s name and picture is provided.

Caring for Feral Cats

To ensure feral cats are cared for, the society humanely traps, vaccinates, spays or neuters feral cats. Once the cats have been to a vet, they return to the place where they were captured, where shelter and food are provided by volunteers. PACS also lends its expertise to community members building shelters for feral cat colonies or those wishing to help stray, feral, or injured cats.

6 July 2006 Halifax, Nova Scotia – The Base Commander, Capt(N) St-Jean, assists PO1 Fillatreault during the official opening of the “Catty Shack”. PO1 Fillatreault was in charge of obtaining funds and the manpower to build a shelter in the CFB Halifax dockyards to house the dockyard cats. Photographer: Cpl Jodie Cavicchi, Formation Imaging Services Halifax.

“Castaways” Cat Sanctuary

PACS hopes to eventually establish a cat sanctuary called “Castaways.” Once constructed, feral and stray cats will have shelter, food, medical care and human contact, hopefully leading to adoption. The sanctuary would benefit the community further by providing opportunities to volunteer and educate the public about responsible pet ownership. However, this requires fundraising as PACS is supported through donations, cat sponsorship and the annual sale of calendars.

Along with supporting the felines at the Dockyards, PACS also supports other rescue groups.

One of the ways PACS raises money is through their calendars sales $10 plus $2 for shipping.

More Information

Visit here to order your calendar or learn more about the organization.

For more information on Pierre’s Alley Cat Society, visit their website here.

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