As a toddler, Dorset cottager Cailey Seymour held kittens that her aunt saved from outdoor living at Paint Lake. Now just 22 years old, she is carrying on that tradition by founding Dorset Rescue Kittens in May of last year.
A student in her final year of Sheridan College’s veterinary technician program, Seymour and her partner, Thomas Marshall, are based in Guelph. However, they are working with a team of volunteers in the Dorset area who are doing their part to help orphaned kittens, and to spay and neuter adult cats to keep the feral situation in check. When she graduates this spring, Seymour plans to move back to the area and continue her rescue work in earnest.
Seymour said she’s been greatly involved in animal welfare since becoming a teenager.
“I spent a month of my summer between high school and post-secondary school living and volunteering on an elephant orphanage in Zambia. I have travelled to Guatemala to assist veterinarians in high volume spay-neuter clinics. I rescued a dog in Costa Rica …, “ she said.
She’s worked at her local humane society, has volunteered at Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary in Minden Hills and has a number of certificates for working with animals.
She said she started Dorset Rescue Kittens after taking in a mother cat with five newborns and four other kittens last spring.
“After working and volunteering for several other animal rescue organizations, it was clear that it was meant to be for me to start something of my own,” Seymour said.
She and Marshall launched a number of social media platforms, a website and email address, and set up fundraising through GoFundeMe and paypal.
On the ground up north, she relies on foster parents to help her. They have between five and 10 foster homes but are seeking more in Dorset and surrounding areas to begin fostering in the spring of 2021.
“Most of the time when someone reaches out about a feral cat colony or a family of cats they are feeding, they don’t have the resources to trap them and bring them to us. So, we pack a vehicle with crates and blankets and do our best to catch cats that really don’t want to be caught. We travel for hours every week to spend time rescuing kittens and bringing kittens to vet appointments,” Seymour said.
They usually keep kittens 1.5 months before they can adopt them out. They often need medical attention and socializing before they go to their forever homes. Some stay as long as four months. “We provide food, litter, medications, toys, transportation and vetting while they are in our care,” Seymour said.
Seymour said she remembers each of their names, their faces, their quirks and special personalities. She also keeps close contact with everyone involved, the people who find the cats, fosters, adopters and donors.
“It has always been so exciting to watch the transition of a cold, sick, helpless outdoor kitten to a healthy, happy, loved kitten,” she said.
“It’s crazy to think that I’ve only been running the rescue for the last eight months and I can’t wait to see where it goes. This rescue brings me so much happiness and knowing that every life that comes into my care likely wouldn’t have survived without me, makes me want to do everything I possibly can to help even more animals in need.”
They charge an adoption fee but are otherwise 100 per cent donation-based.
Email address for contact and e-transfer donations: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amazon Wishlist: amazon.ca/hz/wishlist/ls/348N8BZNAHXFF?ref_=wl_share
(they also accept medical supplies, kitten food, unscented litter, toys and live traps.
Facebook: Dorset Rescue Kittens