It all started in 2005 when Pierre Filitreault, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces rescued two small kittens while working at Her Majesty’s Canadian (HMC) Dockyard in Halifax. Pierre took the cats to a local shelter and was disheartened when he inquired a few days later as to the fate of the kittens and no one was able to tell him what had happened to them. Feral cats were a common sight around the Dockyards and were often fed but none were spayed or neutered nor was there an organized program to care for them. With no way to control the cat population or ensure their health, the situation was bound to deteriorate. 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, which is comprised of volunteers who have 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 located at the south end of the dockyard between the shelters the needs of approximately thirty feral cats are met. Both shelters are heated and stocked with a supple of water and food. The cats are regularly de-wormed to ensure the good health of the colony. The work of PACS extends into the community. Feral cats are humanely trapped, vaccinated, spayed or neutered than returned to the place of capture where shelter and food are provided by volunteers. PACS also lend their expertise to community members building shelters for feral cat colonies or those wishing to help stray, feral or injured cats.
The hope of PACS is 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.
All this requires fundraising as PACS is supported through donations, cat sponsorship and the annual sale of calendars. For more information on Pierre’s Alley Cat Society, visit their website at www.pierresalleycats.org.