The BC SPCA is issuing a warning to cat guardians in highrise buildings to safeguard their pets after a number of cats have suffered injury or death after falling from balconies.
“At the Vancouver shelter we’ve had five cats brought to us in the past month alone who were seriously injured after jumping or falling from highrise balconies,” says Jodi Dunlop, manager of the Vancouver SPCA Branch. “Two of the cats were in such extreme distress with multiple injuries that we couldn’t save them. It is heartbreaking to think of the excruciating pain and suffering these cats must have endured.”
The Vancouver shelter is currently seeking help for Tandem, a five-month-old orange tabby who was badly injured after falling off an eighth-storey balcony. “He will need veterinary treatment costing about $4,650 for a bilateral mandible fracture, a broken pallet (jaw) and three breaks in his front leg,” says Dunlop. Tandem, like the other cats brought to the SPCA with injuries from balcony falls, was surrendered because their owners could not afford the medical treatment necessary for the animals.
“If anyone is able to help us with this little kitten’s care we would be so grateful,” says Dunlop. “We want to ensure he has a healthy and happy future.” Once he recovers from his injuries, Tandem will be up for adoption.
Dunlop says it is important for cat guardians to recognize the dangers of high-rise living. “People assume cats have wonderful balance, but all it takes is an unexpected gust of wind or a sudden noise to spook a cat for a potentially fatal fall to occur,” she says. “We hope that by issuing this warning we can prevent other injuries and deaths from occurring.”
Dunlop says that if cats are allowed out on high-rise balconies, guardians should ensure that the area is enclosed so that cats cannot fall through the bars or above the railing of the balcony. “There are a variety of ways that landlords and strata councils allow this safeguarding to be done and we urge all cat guardians whose pets may be in danger to take steps to prevent a tragedy.”
The BC SPCA is asking anyone who can help with Tandem’s care to please make a donation through the society’s medical emergency fund at spca.bc.ca/medicalemergency or call 604-681-7271.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.