Pilot cat shelter to open in Strathcona County

September 12, 2022

Pilot cat shelter to open in Strathcona County

The Greater Edmonton Animal Rescue Society (GEARS) will open Sheltered Paws on Saturday, October 1, with plans to operate for one year as part of a pilot initiative by Strathcona County.

The cat shelter, located near the County’s western edge at 2157 87 Ave. NW, will care for cats that are abandoned or in distress, seeking to return them to their original owner or permanently rehome them.

On Thursday, September 29, GEARS and Strathcona County will host an information session from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in rooms two, three and four across from the Agora on the main floor of the Community Centre. Residents are invited to learn more about shelter operations, volunteer opportunities, cat fostering and the long-term goals of the project.

“GEARS brings knowledge and experience to this project,” says Mayor Rod Frank. “They’ll care for cats in distress and provide us with the insight we need to make informed decisions for our community.”

“At GEARS, we’re motivated by compassion. We’re here to care for cats and support community members. We want residents to know they can turn to us for support on responsible cat ownership,” says Liz Pankhurst, GEARS president and cat shelter director.

Strathcona County Council launched the cat shelter pilot initiative earlier this year, after residents identified abandoned cats as an ongoing issue in the community. Council invited non-profit animal rescue organizations to apply to run the shelter, and selected GEARS as the successful project partner.

The County invested $100,000 to support start-up costs for GEARS Sheltered Paws. GEARS will gather data on their day-to-day operations and share a report to inform Council’s decision on the feasibility of a permanent cat shelter.

Formed in 2013, GEARS has been helping homeless animals in the capital region for nearly a decade. Their shelter in Strathcona County will host three different cat rooms, as well as potential overflow space.

Visit the GEARS website at edmontonanimalrescue.org/sheltered-paws to learn about the process for dropping off an abandoned cat, adopting or volunteering.  


Strathcona County Communications

Liz Pankhurst, President and Cat Shelter Director