July 12th, 2024

Odours are not a problem at the Last Chance Cat Ranch


By Lethbridge Herald on April 27, 2022.

Editor:

As you may have deduced by now, I am passionate about The Last Chance Cat Ranch Lethbridge. And I remain devastated by the decision made by The City of Lethbridge Subdivision and Developmental Appeal Board. Let me once again make something perfectly clear – LCCR knows we have to move. LCCR knows we are in violation of a land use bylaw. LCCR is currently looking for a new and suitable location.

As I explained in a previous post, we need more than one year to accomplish this. And the Appeal Board did increase the number of volunteers we could have in a day, but put restrictions on that which has presented us with a whole new set of logistical issues, another topic I have made a post on.

One condition that still remains reads as follows, “and within 30 days of being served with the order the facility is required to cease all emissions of offensive odours entering neighbouring properties or provide a plan to address odours.”

There are basically only two sources of offensive odours from LCCR – our three black bins and one blue bin and our catios. 

Back in the spring of 2021 the complainant, in a 90 minute presentation to city council, had raised the issue of offensive odours. I would like to take the opportunity here to inform everyone that LCCR was not aware of this presentation, LCCR was not invited to this presentation and therefore LCCR was not able to defend themselves. 

At the Appeal hearing LCCR was not allowed to mention this presentation as we were told the complainant was not present to defend himself – just as LCCR was not able to defend themselves in the previous session. The difference being that the complainant was able to attend this hearing, he chose not to be present. 

Upon learning of the complainant’s issue with our garbage bins we had the bins professionally cleaned by Bin Fresh. Since the stop order we have added a generous sprinkling of baking soda to our buildings and catio garbage cans.

 We have always washed our recyclables which consists mainly of empty cat food cans. We have asked the City several times for weekly garbage pick up as opposed to bi- weekly pickup, and are willing to pay for this added service, but have been repeatedly denied.

When the complainant mentioned the offensive odours back in the spring of 2021, we tackled our catios. At the time both our larger catios had wooden decking as well as bare dirt floors. The house catio had a dirt “hump” at one end and the sanctuary catio had quite a steep incline. 

I myself,using a spade and five-gallon bucket, hauled dirt from the house catio to the sanctuary catio until a better grade was reached. After raking the dirt to a reasonable degree of level, I then sprinkled all the dirt with baking soda and water. When it was dry, another volunteer purchased and laid artificial turf on the dirt and the areas that were too awkward to turf were covered with landscaping rock, also purchased by another volunteer. I then used a pressure washer to wash all the surfaces of the catios.

Our catios have two litter pans for the use of the cats and we changed our litter to a corn cob litter from a clay litter in order to improve odour emissions. We have always sifted our litter pans twice daily. We discontinued the practice of keeping the litter wastes in a collection bucket until over half full and instead immediately deposited it in the black bins. In the last month we have also added baking soda to the collection bag. Once weekly the litter pans are given a thorough wash with cleaner and hot water and then sprayed with a cleaner that kills odour-causing bacteria. When the weather becomes warmer we will once again pressure-wash the catios.

LCCR carries out dump runs as needed and keeps the back yard free of debris that may be odour causing. Our front yard was professionally landscaped and is maintained by volunteers.

The week prior to the appeal LCCR underwent an inspection by the development officer for the City. When asked by the appeal board if she noticed any odours she answered that she had not detected any. This also meshed with the survey LCCR conducted on the Sunday prior to the hearing by three LCCR volunteers, of which I was one. 

We surveyed the surrounding neighbourhoods on the question of odour and not one of the 18 neighbours who were home and answered our survey stated they were aware of any odours that were emanating from LCCR property. 

The appeal board asked LCCR if we were aware of the scheduled inspection.I personally felt like I had been sucker punched! All the work I had done cleaning up the catios, all the work done by fellow volunteers to maintain a clean environment had just been negated by the implied suggestion that LCCR had somehow done a “dirty”! LCCR volunteers pride themselves on how clean they keep the property and work hard at keeping it clean. 

We did know of the inspection but we did nothing different than our usual practices.

At the appeal hearing we were given five minutes per speaker to speak on a topic that was part of the stop order. Mine was on odour control but five minutes is not very long and I could not cover all the bases that I feel need to be covered. No city employee to my knowledge has spent time in the complainant’s back yard to smell for themselves if there is an offensive odours emanating over there. 

No city employee has spent any length of time with LCCR to see what we actually do. Seeing is believing.

Nancy Giles

Lethbridge

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Southern Albertan

Agreed…something sure doesn’t smell right with regard to the complaining neighbour and the city’s decision.

yqlresident

Read above, the LCCR knows they are in violation of the LUB. The decision was based on that.

biff

there is indeed a wicked stench afoot in lethbridge, and this time it is not wafting in from fetid feedlots and from the city’s waste water treatment (bridge drive is almost always a sickening stretch): the wicked stench is coming from city hall.
it is disgusting that the lccr could not address the complainant’s issues simply because that creep chose not to be present. what type of creatures do we have administering lethbridge? whatever they be, they are quite obviously devoid of hearts.

yqlresident

The issues were land use which as this article states, the LCCR was in breach of. So the complainants concerns shouldn’t have been their talking points.

yqlresident

It sounds like you’re in contravention of the bylaw. Not sure why you’re still trying to defend yourselves?

biff

the intent of the law was never really meant to apply to such a case. do you have a callous, heartless, robotic approach to life with regard to everything, or just to your bias with regard to good and caring people picking up after irresponsible people?

yqlresident

I think the bylaw was pretty clear. Like, if this was in a property zoned building with a fire suppression system the results of the fire wouldn’t have been nearly as bad. Let’s not sit around and wait for another to happen just to have everyone scream “ITS NOT THEIR FAULT”

biff

yeah, they have good old house fires there every other week, right? as if they are at any more risk of a fire than your house – are you truly as ignorant?
let me pound this drum: the city accepts a complaint presented (by a nasty, heartless fool) without the lccr being present; but, it does not accept the lccr presentation because the nasty, heartless fool chooses to not be present. how is that a fair process? seems like bias, or stupidity, neither of which is acceptable.

Southern Albertan

Yes, and, it sure took a long time, years, to so-called implement the bylaw, and ‘stick it,’ to ‘good and caring people.’ A reflection of today’s more angry, could-care-less society?

yqlresident

THE FIRE WASN’T tHEIR FAuLt AND ThIS WAS A GREAT LoCAtiON.

I see why people pick the cat ranch’s side now. It’s fun to be irrational and pretend like this shouldn’t have already been moved well over a decade ago.

biff

you are choosing to be ignorant. perhaps every time there is a house fire the owners should not be allowed to live anywhere in town? is that what you are suggesting? please respond to this: 1) is the house currently in contravention of fire regulations? 2) are fire regulations the reason the lccr is being forced to move?

yqlresident

Narrators voice: STOMP STOMP STOMP is what Biff did as she screamed loudly and wiped her tears away after she refused to accept any logic explaining why the LCCR is being told to move (which has to do with the LUB and nothing to do with the neighbour). The sad part is this is what the LCCR did as well and It didn’t work for them either, yet no one learned their lesson.

WAHH WAHH WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Last edited 2 years ago by yqlresident
Southern Albertan

Looks like your nanny goat has been gotten. 🙂

biff

and you will not respond to any of the questions i have posed. instead, a childish entry. further, no response to a reply to one of your other silly entries above….oh, you must be on city council?

yqlresident

The house is being used for Animal Care, Major. So if they relocate to a proper location, they won’t be in contravention of fire safety rules under that use. If the house were being used as an actual human residence, they wouldn’t be in contravention of any rules (remember that humans have a chance at getting themselves out of a house fire, whereas unattended animals don’t). Beyond that, the fire is just one of many examples why the LCCR doesn’t belong where they currently are. But any way someone explains to you why the LCCR is being forced to move, you will keep having pointless rebuttals that serve no purpose at this point because all efforts should be focused on getting them a new location.

That’s why I think it’s easier to give you ridiculous responses just like you’ve been doing all along:
I wOULd LIvE wITH 60 cAtS ANd bE mAD IF sOmeONe sAID IT SMeLT BaD.

Frank Sterle Jr.

Lethbridge city hall’s callousness towards the homeless felines at the Last Chance Cat Ranch somewhat reminds me of the heartlessness exhibited by the city hall of Surrey, a city neighboring mine.    

Along with individual people, society collectively can also be quite cruel towards cats, especially ‘unwanted’ felines. For example, it was reported a few years ago that Surrey, B.C., had an estimated 36,000 feral cats, very many of which suffer severe malnourishment, debilitating injury and/or infection.  
 
Yet the municipal government, as well as aware yet uncaring residents, did little or nothing to help with the local non-profit Trap/Neuter/Release program, regardless of its (and others’) documented success in reducing the needlessly great suffering. And I was informed last autumn by Surrey Community Cat Foundation that, if anything, their “numbers would have increased, not decreased, in the last 5 years.” 

It’s the only charity to which I’ve ever donated, in no small part because of the plentiful human callousness towards the plight of those cats and the countless others elsewhere. These include the cats I too-often learn about, whose owners have allowed to wander the neighborhood at night only to be tortured to death by cat-haters procuring sick satisfaction. … At age 54, I’ve long observed that higher human intelligence is typically accompanied by a seemingly proportional reprehensible potential for evil, or malice for malice’s sake.

I believe there’s a subconscious yet tragic human-nature propensity to perceive the value of life (sometimes even human life in regularly war-torn or overpopulated famine-stricken global regions) in relation to the conditions enjoyed or suffered by that life. With the mindset of feline disposability, it might be: ‘Oh, there’s a lot more whence they came’.

I believe that this mentality, regardless of any alleged cat-shelter odours, prevails almost everywhere, though especially in Lethbridge and Surrey. Yet, these mammals’ qualities, especially their non-humanly innocence, make losing them such a great heart break for their owners.  

Only when overpopulations of unwanted cats are greatly reduced in number by responsible owners consistently spaying/neutering their felines might these beautiful animals’ presence be truly appreciated.  

Last edited 2 years ago by Frank Sterle Jr.