Lynne Torgalson, president of the Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven, holds Princess the cat beside vice president Katherine Lemond on Saturday, April 24, 2021. Three of the four buildings seen behind them (where the cats live) have leaky roofs and they now need to raise $38,000 to replace them. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Lynne Torgalson, president of the Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven, holds Princess the cat beside vice president Katherine Lemond on Saturday, April 24, 2021. Three of the four buildings seen behind them (where the cats live) have leaky roofs and they now need to raise $38,000 to replace them. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

More funds needed for Chilliwack cat shelter after yet another roof began leaking

Three of four roofs on buildings housing homeless cats are leaking at Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven

The fundraiser goal for a Chilliwack cat shelter has been increased after yet another one of the facility’s buildings developed a leaky roof.

Problems began a year ago for the Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven. The roof on one of the four buildings where the cats are housed started leaking. By the fall of 2020, a second one started leaking.

“They’re metal roofs and they’re quite flat so the water pools and it’s leaking into the units,” said vice president Katherine Lemond.

Tarps and bricks sit atop the leaky roofs of the buildings at Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven where the cats are housed on Saturday, April 24. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Tarps and bricks sit atop the leaky roofs of the buildings at Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven where the cats are housed on Saturday, April 24. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

They placed tarps on the roofs and weighted them down with bricks, while inside, towels lined sections of the floor and more towels have been shoved in the rafters to soak up water.

A GoFundMe was set up at the beginning of March with a goal of raising $15,000, but within a month, a third roof began to leak. That’s when they realized it was just a matter of time before the fourth roof would start leaking and so it was decided they should replace the roofs on all four buildings.

READ MORE: Funds needed to help build new roof over cats’ heads at Chilliwack animal shelter

“We know we need the whole thing done. If we have to go through another winter, it’s going to be bad,” Lemond said. “It’s not healthy for the cats. If we develop a mould problem, that could effect our volunteers. It’s not healthy for anyone.”

They have since set a new goal of $38,000 based on a quote they received to replace all four roofs. They want the project completed before the rainy fall weather arrives, so the fundraising window is pretty tight.

“We want to get it done professionally because we want to have the warranty,” Lemond added.

They are raising money for a TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roof. TPO is a one-ply roofing membrane that is heat reflective, energy efficient and resistant to ultraviolet light with a lifespan of about 25 to 30 years. It is also easier to install than some other types of roofing and is more recommended for low slope or flat roofs.

Tarps and bricks sit atop the leaky roofs of the buildings at Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven where the cats are housed. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Tarps and bricks sit atop the leaky roofs of the buildings at Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven where the cats are housed. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

In addition to setting a higher fundraising goal, they have also been out in the community asking for funds and applying for grants. So far, they’ve raised just over $20,000.

Currently there are about 35-40 cats at the shelter and they’ve had as many as 160 at one time.

Last year, Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven adopted out more than 200 cats, a record number for the shelter which opened in 2003.

“We’re on track to (adopt out) over 300 this year if it keeps up, and kitten season hasn’t started.”

People have been coming from as far away as Vancouver, Richmond and Squamish to adopt some of the cats at the Chilliwack shelter.

“Our reputation is going a little further and we want to make sure we have healthy cats for people,” Lemond said. “Imagine visiting and you see this line of towels (on the floor) and you wonder what kind of organization we are. That’s not the kind of organization we are, it really isn’t.”

To donate to the cause, go to GoFundMe.com and search for A New Roof Over The Kitties Heads. Cheques can be mailed or dropped off to the shelter at 49843 Chilliwack Central Rd. E-transfers can be sent to info@thesafehaven.ca (no password required, but include your address in the comments to receive a tax receipt). You can also donate via CanadaHelps.org by typing in “Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven Society” in the search bar.


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

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