Cat rescue group appealing to Beach residents for help with adopting of abandoned pets

Smokey, who was recently taken in by an Upper Beach resident, made a visit to Beach Metro Community News recently to help spread the word about the growing numbers of abandoned or surrendered cats. Photo by Alan Shackleton.

In the wake of the COVID-19 emergency, the numbers of surrendered and abandoned pets has soared. In the feline population, it has reached a critical point and a city cat rescue organization is appealing to East Toronto residents for help finding new homes for these animals.


North Toronto Cat Rescue founder Donna Cox is working 13 hours a day, seven days a week trying to help as many cats as possible before this winter’s cold weather arrives. Winter shows no mercy and for those felines left outside struggling to survive, and it is compounded by extreme hunger and thirst.


Cox said cats are being left on country roads, in parks, ravines, parking lots and recently by the Don River in the Leslieville area.


“We cannot seem to keep up with the volume and I have never witnessed such sadness and suffering in my 36 years of rescue,” she said.


People should not mistakenly think a lot of these abandoned cats are feral, said Cox. “They are strays,” she said of feral cats. “They all come in hissing, scratching, and biting because they are scared.”


Strays are socialized; feral cats are not, said Cox.


North Toronto Cat Rescue said the organization has taken in more than 4,000 of those outside felines and once they trust you, they are just “pussy cats”.


Cox recently helped find two senior cats, Smokey and Bella, a home in the Upper Beach and she is hoping other area residents will also consider taking in a cat.


The Beach community is well known for its love of pets and more than ever cat lovers are needed to step up however possible by offering caring homes, volunteering in the North Toronto no-kill, no-cage shelter and making donations (tax receipted).


For more information on how to help by taking in a cat, or to donate, please visit or call 905-758-CATS (2287).

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