First, stay calm. Then follow these steps:
Remember, having a microchip and/or tattoo greatly increases your chances of being reunited with a lost pet. If your pet is not currently microchipped or tattooed (with up to date contact information registered) please consider having this done as soon as possible to help prevent heartache.
If you can, see whether the animal has any identification. This could be a tag/license tag, ear tattoo, or microchip. To check for a microchip, call a veterinary clinic to see whether you can bring the animal in to be scanned.
In order to reduce confusion for owners of lost animals we request that you first contact the animal services provider for the municipality in which the animal was found.
For the city of Winnipeg, this is Winnipeg Animal Services, who can be contacted through 311. For other areas, you can find contact information for your local animal services by contacting your municipal office.
If this is not an option, stray animals may be brought to D'Arcy's ARC, or another rescue shelter, after an appointment has been made. Please do not bring animals to any shelter unannounced as we don't always have the space to take in new animals without prior planning. Also, please make note of the exact location the animal was found prior to bringing them to the shelter.
Unfortunately, the stray cat population is constantly growing. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, kittens are left without a mother and all the shelters are full or are unable to help. If these kittens aren't yet weaned and need milk replacer, we usually carry some in stock at our store and would be more than happy to provide you with not only the milk replacer but also the necessary supplies you will need in order to raise these kittens to a stage where they can be adopted out (either by a rescue if one now has space, or by you).
If you can't get in to us quickly, then here are some recipes for a milk replacer that will work in the short term:
Feral cats are a significant issue not just in Manitoba but throughout the western world. Property owners have different views on whether they want them on their property and how they would like to manage the populations that do visit their property.
One option is to live side by side with the cats. If this is something that you, as a property owner, want to do then it is important to take responsibility for their care. The first thing to do is ensure that they are spayed and neutered. Many animal control or rescue operations can provide live traps to humanely trap the cats, so they can be taken to a vet for a check-up and then spay/neuter surgery. In Manitoba there are several low cost spay and neuter clinics in operation that can reduce this cost. Once the cats are spayed/neutered then you can release them back on your property. Before you do this, please fit them with appropriate collars fixed with a bell. Domestic house cats are responsible for the decline and even extinction of some species of song birds, bells are a proven way to reduce this threat to native songbirds. Feeding should be done in an area where other animals can-not reach it and shelter should be provided during our harsh winters.
If you do not want feral cats on your property then the single most important thing to do is ensure that you do not feed them. By all means provide a source of fresh and clean water, but feeding them will only serve as encouragement for them to stay. Without a source of food, they will likely move on. If they don't move on because they are feeding on the local wildlife, then an option may be to use a humane trap, provided by either a rescue or your animal control service provider. Please, ONLY trap animals that you wish to remove once you have a plan for where they are going to go. Many rescues are constantly full and others can-not take feral cats as they are very hard to rehome. Prior planning is so very important here.