Help us Build an Animal Shelter!
The Nanton & District Animal Protection Society (NAPS) is a registered nonprofit organization dedicated to providing food, shelter and medical assistance to the lost, abandoned or displaced animals in Nanton, Alberta, Canada and surrounding areas. In addition to taking in owner surrenders, we also provide the following services;
- temporary foster care for pets displaced by divorce, domestic violence, natural disasters, owners being hospitalized or relocating, etc.
- financial assistance for low or fixed income families looking to spay/neuter the family pets
- Trap/Neuter/Release program to help manage and maintain a healthy stray/feral population in Nanton and to reduce the overall amount of unwanted animals.
- Barn Cat programs to provide area farms with healthy, sterilized and vaccinated barn cats for pest control at a hugely discounted and reasonable price.
- assistance in reuniting owners with lost/found pets by using our social media platforms and working closely with town Bylaw officers and local veterinarian clinics.
Our society is run solely by volunteers (no paid staff) and relies heavily on the generosity of those who support our cause. We also receive Casino funds once every three years which help us cover operating expenses such as veterinary costs, shelter supplies and more.
The society originally formed in 2003, after several Nanton residents noticed a need for animal welfare in our small rural Alberta town. One of our founding members, Lynne Maynard, took great efforts early on in our inception to find a facility location for NAPS. A place for cold and hungry animals to rest their heads and fill their bellies while she searched for their forever homes.
By 2007, Lynne was relieved and grateful to have the support of local businessman Kin Leong, owner of Mountain Top Foods. He happened to have an empty trailer sitting on his property, of which he offered to NAPS. And so began the lease of the trailer NAPS would call home for the next 10 years. The generosity of Mr. Leong in our time of need has never been forgotten, and has helped us to have an incredible impact on the lives of countless abandoned, homeless and feral animals.
Our Current Home
Our current Shelter
The current NAPS facility (The Leong building) is a single wide trailer, roughly 600 sq feet of space, and if you've ever been in the shelter, you'll know that while it isn't cosmetically appealing, it does a good job of providing enough comfortable living space for around 25-30 cats at its fullest. There is a small "medical isolation room" used to monitor cats with illness, and a small supply storage room used to store dishes, medical supplies, food, bedding, and more. Lastly, there is an open concept space, where the shelters residents are uncaged, and free to roam as they would in a home setting. The cats are entirely free-roaming, choosing to eat/drink/sleep where and when they please. There are various cat tree's and sleeping spots, windows for natural light and bird watching, and tons of toys donated by our loyal supporters. There is even an outdoor cat run where when weather permits, the cats can lay in the sun and chase bugs.
PEPPER in our Cat Aviary!
Trouble at Home
By this time, you may be wondering why NAPS is looking to move. While the building has been a blessing, it also has its draw backs.
We are unsure of the original use of the building, or even when it was built. What we do know is that there is no running water or sewage access. For almost a decade volunteers have been carting in fresh water required for cleaning, and drinking water for the animals. We are also required to send our laundry home with volunteers, and use a kettle to heat water for mopping and dishes.
We have been able to make due over the years, however a real and pressing concern for keeping things sterile and safe for our volunteers and the animals exists. We have had to rely heavily on frequent sterilization with chemicals to ensure we are preventing the spread of disease and keeping things sanitary. No running water also means no bathroom, which has been more than an inconvenience for volunteers working at the shelter for lengthy periods of time or even for potential adopters and local youth education programs that visit the shelter.
Local Cub & Beaver Scouts visit the shelter annually!
Other draw backs of the facility include a lack of proper insulation. During the winter months, even with the furnace in working order, the water in the drinking bowls has been known to freeze, leaving cats with no water source between volunteer work shifts.
Attempts to replace windows and reduce heat loss have been made difficult by the overall deterioration of the structure. It is an older building, probably never intended for habitation and currently has quite a large amount of rot. For this reason, structural improvements cannot be completed as required.
The cosmetic issues with our current home are more than just an eye sore. Wood paneling and floors make it hard to sterilize surfaces. Lack of proper ventilation makes things dusty frequently, and can contribute to health issues with the animals living in the shelter. Keeping the interior temperature manageable throughout the seasons can be difficult as well.
The medical isolation room mentioned is small, and can house only two adult cats at a time, or a mother and litter of nursing kittens. This is a set back, in that animals newly surrendered to NAPS are to be housed separately from the general population for two weeks to ensure they are healthy and their vaccines have taken affect. If both kennels in the isolation room are in use, NAPS must turn away any new intakes until those cages become available again. This is especially trying during kitten season, when NAPS can see as many as 10 separate litters of kittens over a 2 month period. NAPS turns away multiple surrender requests each month as a result of our lack of space to take in more animals at one time.
Our medical isolation room
The shelter's 600 sq feet of space can legally hold 33 cats at one time according to the Alberta Humane Society standards. This may seem like a large number to most, but those who are familiar with the industry can tell you that this is only a small portion of animals in need of our help. NAPS accepts intakes from High River, Cayley, Nanton, Parkland, Vulcan, Milo, Claresholm, Champion, Lethbridge and the rural areas in between. Depending on the time of year, we are approached between 5 and 15 times a month to take in surrenders or trap strays in the mentioned areas. While there are several other shelters operating in close proximity to us, these shelters are often at capacity and are overwhelmed with the level of need in their respective areas. Often times, someone who has been turned away by other area shelters will come to NAPS as a last resort.
Four is 18 kittens taken in from an over-crowding situation just south of Nanton, summer 2015.
Not Just Felines
The Nanton Animal Protection Society may seem to focus primarily on felines. This is not by choice. Our current home does not allow us to safely house multiple species. There is no safe and humane way to keep canines in the building without risking the health and mental well being of the felines already in our care. Other animals like small exotics woudnt be safe house with the cats they way things are now.
TANNER - adopted through NAPS after being surrendered by his owners.
TWEETY - a canary surrendered after her owner had been hospitalized long term.
With a larger more functional facility, we could then more efficiently extend our reach to other animals, such as dogs, reptiles, birds and other exotics, all without having to put pressure on foster homes. At this time, NAPS works closely with Mrs. Doolittles Pet Resort (south of Nanton, Ab) for canine fostering, and relies on individual families for all other foster needs. If a foster home cannot be arranged, NAPS is forced to turn the surrendered animal away.
Time to Make a Change
Year after year, the need for NAPS has increased as the population of Nanton grows. Our small facility is no longer meeting the needs of the community and surrounding areas, and we are bursting at the seams! NAPS needs a new home!
For most of the last five years the NAPS Building Committee has met with various Town of Nanton Council and Administration members to explore the possibility of the Town leasing a piece of land for NAPS to build on. Unfortunately, indepth exploration of this possibility concluded that there was not in fact any Town owned land that would suit our needs or budget.
Learn more about this at our Blog post at www.nantonanimalprotection.com
Through the generosity of our supporters and corporate sponsors, in the last five years we have been able to raise enough funds to purchase a piece of land of our own!
The Nanton Veterinary Clinic generously parcelled off a piece of their property for purchase, and we finalized the sale this spring! This is a huge step in the right direction! THANK YOU so much to everyone who helped us come this far! We couldn't have done it without your generosity!
Additionally, just this month, we were able to secure the purchase of an 1100 sq foot building. This building will be moved onto our parcel of land in the coming months.
Purchasing an existing structure and renovating it to suit our needs turned out to be the most cost effective option for NAPS, given our current budget. Building a structure from scratch was quoted between $200,000.00 and $400,000.00 by local contractors! Alternatively, NAPS was able to purchase the land and this building for under $60,000.00!!
Fundraising efforts moving forward, will be focused on raising the funds required to;
- prepare the land for the building
- pay for all required permits and inspections
- bring utilities to the structure
- complete the necessary renovations to the building such as replacing flooring and walls with non-porous surfaces,framing the interior layout, adding a bathroom, etc.
We are also asking for our supporters help in building a detached dog ward next to the main structure, where canines can safely and comfortably be housed and cared for in a unique setting designed for them.
Little extras we hope to be able to cover would include;
- exterior cat and dog runs (chain link enclosures with shade/rain cover)
- andscaping to encourage a welcoming atmosphere for our visitors, volunteers and resident animals alike
- interior needs such as an office desk, filing cabinets, desktop computer, etc
- animal enrichment items such as cat trees, dog doors, climbing structures, litter box enclosures, etc.
UPDATE: Due to permit and coding issues, the portable was scrapped, and NAPS has decided to move forward with plans to build a faciltiy from scartch! In addition to the $100k we hope to raise, we have applied for the Community Enhancement Matching Grant which we hope will cover the other $100k required to move forward with building plans. See our updates for more details!
All of these things are estimated to cost us around $100,000.00 at minimum. The majority of our previously raised funds have been spent on the purchase of the land and building. We could really use the communities help moving forward!
NAPS Directors Kim Williamson & Elisabeth Clarke with NAPS Treasurer Carrie Gataiant & youth volunteer Ellie Smith at the 2nd Annual Cupcakes for Kitties fundraiser in Nanton. We were able to raise $750+ dollars towards our building fund at this fundraiser!
Your financial support for this Building Project will help NAPS to continue providing medical care, safety, shelter & adoption opportunities to hundreds of animals annually. That's got to be a great feeling!
The support we have received from everyone thus far has warmed our hearts, and NAPS volunteers and shelter residents are forever grateful for the support! It's amazing animal lovers like YOU that help us to make a difference in the world everyday!
Be the change you want to see in the world!
PS - Adopt DONT Shop!
NAPS also accepts donations via mail, and PayPal through our website. Visit www.nantonanimalprotection.com to learn more. Also, be sure to LIKE us Facebook to stay up to date on new arrivals/adoptions, and other fundraising efforts!
FRANKIE - Former NAPS cat, now ADOPTED!
Today, Dec 4th 2018 we have begun moving in to our brand new home! We could not have done it without all of you and the funds you helped raise for our building project. THANK YOU so much for helping us reach this goal and ensuring we can continue to benefit animal welfare in Southern Alberta!
We will update you with more pictures once the animals have been moved in and we are all settled. However we have included some pics of the shelter looks like right now, prior to move in.
We have a kitchen/food prep and grooming room, our bathroom/laundry & storage room (with running water - YAY!) and a large medical isolation room so that we can take in more animals at one time.
We are still working on installing the interior dog runs and have plans to start construction on the exterior cat and dog runs in the spring. Our Canine Unit will open in the spring as well.
Volunteers are so excited to finally be moving in and cant wait to see how the cats settle in over the coming weeks. We will keep you posted! Thank you again for all of your support!
To continue supporting NAPS check out our wish list on the website!
The building is beginning to look like a home more & more each day. We have power/heat now, running water (YAY), the polished concrete floors have been poured, the walls have gone up - workers are focused on putting the finishing touches in now, such as trim, plumbing and lighting fixtures, etc. We have Ramshaw Construction working on a landscaping plan that will be low maintenance for volunteers but look professional. We even had a brand new washer & dryer donated anonymously (YAY!). We've been told we may be able to move in by the end of October!
Fundraising efforts are still being made to help us reach our $216k goal to ensure we can complete construction in time for move in & meet the towns standards.
We had the Kash for Kritters Raffle Draw last week at the new building site. Longtime NAPS supporter & owner of our current shelter, Kin Leong, was there to help draw the winners from the barrel of the 2000 sold out raffle tickets! 1st place went to Ken Black for $2k, 2nd place to April Wing for $750 & third place to Dan Hjalte for $500! This raffle raised $6, 750 towards the NAPS Building Fund - big thanks to everyone who purchased a ticket!
We are ALMOST there!! We will keep you posted!
Of course, fund raising efforts are still going strong! Be sure to check out our Amazon wish list to help fill up the shelter once its built, and check out our Sponsorship Opportunities on our website! Please continue to share our story, so we can see this exciting project through!
Part of the total raised was from our recent fundraiser - 1st Annual Bomber Bash where attendees helped us raise just under $7k towards our building efforts! There was a LIVE auction & bucket draws for 90+ items donated by local businesses and supporters plus live performances from two popular bands, Mike Fury 4 & Rosewater Uprising! The event was well received, and we look forward to holding the event annually.
There are sponsorship opportunities for those who would like to have their money go directly to a specific item in the shelter as well!
At our most recent event, we also unveiled our new Logo and color scheme, which we look forward to using on our brand new shelter!!
Please continue sharing our story and follow our updates as we are making great progress and would love to keep the momentum going!
Thanks for your support!