If you could take a diverse group of people, ranging in age from teenage to 'golden' age, living in towns and villages throughout the Annapolis Valley and ask what we had in common, would you know the answer? The answer would be our love and compassion for abandoned and stray companion animals in Annapolis County. It is this group of dedicated volunteers that forms the heart and soul of Companion Animal Protection Society of Annapolis County, or CAPS, as it is known
The Companion Animal Protection Society of Annapolis County, Nova Scotia is a diverse group, but the one thing we all have in common is our love and appreciation for the animals that touch our lives. CAPS is run entirely through the efforts of volunteers, and we'd love to have you join us. The more the merrier!
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have regarding this site and our operations. We hope you enjoy your time here, learning about what we're doing to improve the prospects of Annapolis County's homeless animals!
Please note: while CAPS answers telephone calls from all over Nova Scotia from pet owners looking for advice, support and comfort on many matters, including re-homing of their companion animals, CAPS does not accept surrenders. All animals in CAPS care come from the municipal pound in Annapolis County.
Don't forget to check out our volunteer program to find out how you can share your talents with CAPS.
Want to make a real difference to ALL the CAPS animals in care? You can become a MEMBER OF CAPS!
Join our team of CAPS PEOPLE today! All our foster animals will be glad you did.
Single membership os $15.oo, or join the whole family for $25.oo. Click below for the membership form.
Members of CAPS receive pet safety decals for your home amd car and our CAPS newsletters twice yearly as well as a warm fuzzy feeling knowing YOU have made a difference in the lives of these animals! We'll keep checking our post box to hear from you.....
Rescue groups are in the news these days, from Tuxedo Stan to Gail Benoit, from Alley Cat's protest of a Smithsonian's article recommending euthanization of feral cats, to the lack of funding for Metro SPCA. At CAPS we endeavor to keep our messages "paw-sitive" and would like to provide accurate information about our work to our many friends, supporters, volunteers and new friends to our work. We believe that all those who genuinely care for and protect animals should be celebrated and that we should not invole ourselves in being critical of each other.
CAPS began in December 2004 in direct response to a very great need in Annapolis County. There was very little hope for the many animals that were coming into the Municipal Pound system. After the initial waiting period at the pound, if the animals were not reclaimed by their owners or adopted directly from the pound, their future was very bleak indeed.
The path that CAPS chose to follow was a daunting one. Our mission statement is to offer these animals a wonderful alternative to that uncertain future. The Society was incorporated under the Socities Act of Nova Scotia and registered as a charitable organization. That accomplished, CAPS began seeking volunteers who shared our love of animals and our wish that as many animals as possible could be taken from the pound and offered care, love and a second chance in foster homes until they were adopted by responsible families who would give them a forever home.
CAPS has worked with the Municipality of Annapolis for over 8 years. ALL animals that come into CAPS care come from the Municipality Pound. There is as astounding need right here within our own county. For the foreseeable future, CAPS' focus is on making a difference here in Annapolis County. We have already made that difference.
Pound animals are brought to a local vet clinic by the Annapolis County Animal Control Officer for preliminary health testing. In the case of felines, a combo feline leukemia/FIV test is administered. If the cat is negative, then it is released into CAPS care. Feral cats are not released to CAPS by the county. Annapolis County does partner with other animal rescue grouops.
In the past 8 years CAPS has received from the Pound, 172 dogs, and well over 1100 felines (many born in care). All have been lovingly cared for, spay/neutered, and either adopted to wonderful families, passed on to the Rainbow Bridge, or are still living in foster care where they will remain safe all their lives, if they are not adopted.
While we do receive support from the County of Annapolis, it is not in the form of a "contribution". It is rather a fee for service, based on a contract which allots a certain amount of money for each animal we take from the Pound. The yearly referral fees, (between $8,000 and $10,000 per annum), may seem like a lot but when we do the math, it makes better sense. This past year, 150 animals were refered to CAPS.
As a pet owner one would expect to spend about $450 per year on food, litter and vet expenses for one feline pet. When you multiply this by the 100 to 150 animals we have in care, it besomes clear that the referral fees, while welcome and necessary, does not begin to cover the complete needs of the animals. Many also require expensive medical interventions (dental procedures, blood work, allergy testing, amputations, reconstructive surgery from a leg fracture, eye removals) and we provide these since our firm commitment is to take care of the animals until they are adopted or until the end of theire natural lives in our care. Monthly vet bills, food, litter, supplies etc. totalling $6000 to $10, 000 are not uncommon. Constant fundraising, membership in the Society, generous donations and the financial help from dedicated supporters, local businesses and past adopters make our work possible. CAPS is not a "quick-fix", it is long term care for many.
After a quarantine period of 10 to 14 days, our foster animals live in cage-free, open space environments, where they are able to socialize with their own kind, and live peacefully in bright, stimulating foster homes. They are surrounded by dedicated caregivers, visitors, and of course, the "constant" - their foster parents. The relationship with these animals is a long-term one, and they are cared for as solicitous parents would care for their children. Their social well-being and the desire to avoid undue stress or fear is top priority, especially when visits to the vet or to an off-site adoption event occur. They travel only with their foster parents or a trusted and very familliar "surrogate foster".
Great care is taken when applications are received to adopt these animals. We need to find the perfect match, for both the adopter and the foster animal. Many CAPS animals came from homes where they were not cherished or well cared for. We never want to see this happen again, if we can help it. Our repeat adopters return to CAPS simply because our adoption process is not easy or quick, but is rather a very thoughtful and serious process. Adopting a pet to share one's life is a huge occassion for celebration but it is also a huge responsibility. Both are highlighted on adoption day.
CAPS takes as many animals as we can possibily handle through our foster-care system. We take both kittens and adult cats and dogs. It is very rare that we are so full that there is simply no place in our foster homes to accept more from the Pound. But, sadly, it has happened. The constant search for active Foster Parents is ongoing. Please consider working with us. We always need more Foster families and caregiver volunteers. Please help us save lives!
CAPS has no intention of closing or shutting down. Our future plans do not include building a shelter. We do plan to continue with our foster system as long as we have volunteers to nuture and care for the animals. CAPS actively promotes the spaying and neutering of all companion animals as a key part of the solution of pet overpopulation, abandonment and animal abuse. We welcome the opportunity to work with the youth in our county - they are the responsible pet owners of tomorrow. Although animals come to us from Annapolis County only, we are pleased to work with callers from all over Nova Scotia to counsel, provide a caring ear, and advise and suggest possible solutions for a myriad os situations that can crop up in the life of any pet owner.
This was our best year ever for adult adoptions. One hundred and fifty-six cats and dogs left our care for forever homes. Thirty-seven percent of these now live in the HRM, 29% found homes in Annapolis County, while 37% went to Kings County. The others went to various parts of the province and to New Brunswick. Sixteen of our adoptions were of cats that were over 7 years old!
CAPS hopes to continue our cordial working relations with the County while they, at the same time, are searching out other effective ways to make a difference to the animals in our county.
This essay is not intended to hold our work as superior to the many other rescue grouops in the area. Is is intended to better explain our work and "or way". We salute the work of everyone who works so tirelessly for animal welfare. We are not in competition, but should present a united front to the frowing and continual problem of unwanted and abandoned animals. Criticism of fellow rescue groups has no place here. There are many ways to achieve much good for these beautiful animals.
CAPS encourages people to join with us in our work. Regular monthly Board of Directors' Meetings are open to the public. They are held on the last Wednesday of each month at the Municipal Building in Lawrencetown. Be a part of our work, make a difference, become a volunteer and/or a foster family.
We would all love to work ourselves out of a job, and this would be a greater possibility if pet owners could spay and neuter their pets so the number of unwanted animals could be substantially decreased. Our collective mission statement, as animal lovers, should be to work together to raise public awareness for the need for both spay/neuter programs and shelters/foster homes to care for those who need us most.
Kudos to Municipal Councillors for discussing a spay/neuter program to complement TNR and the work of CAPS. Yet again, Annapolis County is proving itself very progressive indeed. Tuxedo Stan would be proud!
The Companion Animal Protection Society of Annapolis County was formed in December 2004.
An all-volunteer group, its goal is to improve and supplement the work of the County of Annapolis in the humane treatment of abandoned or stray companion animals. This will be achieved by:
-vigorously promoting responsible pet ownership and the spaying and neutering of all companion animals.
-cultivating awareness, respect, and appreciation for all animals whose world we share.
-managing our resources and contributions in a responsible manner.
- caring for animals in our care in loving, stress-free, homelike settings to the best of our ability as long as it is necessary to find them permanent homes.
CAPS bylaws (revised April 2009)
When animals are picked up by Annapolis County Animal Control, they are first taken to the county pound. Pets are held for 3 days, so that owners have an opportunity to claim lost animals. After 3-5 days the unclaimed/unadopted animals are released to CAPS care, as space in our foster homes permit.
Animals released into the care of CAPS are immediately taken to the vet for a complete check-up and vaccinations. After a 10-14 day quarantine period in their foster home, the animal is spayed or neutered and ready for adoption!
With the introduction of this fostering/adoption program, which sees the municipal pound routinely emptied, CAPS helps save the lives of animals that would otherwise have been euthanized.
All our animals are health checked, vaccinated and spayed/neutered before being placed into loving homes. The minimum donation requested is $80 and $100 for adult cat and kitten adoptions, respectively, and $125 for dog adoptions. These donations allow us to care for the many other pets that come into our care on a regular basis.