tiny purring cat rescue toronto

People in Toronto are collecting empties to support a kitten rescue

Your empties can now help support a Toronto kitten and cat rescue thanks to the initiative of a local group that's been pounding the pavement to raise money since donations dried up.

Tiny Purring Rescue has been caring for feral and homeless cats in South Etobicoke for five years, and currently takes care of 12 colonies, mostly in the industrial corridor along Horner, Evans Ave., North Queen and the Queensway.

In addition to food and winter shelter, TPR helps the Toronto Human Society with its trapping, neutering, vaccinating and releasing program.

"During the pandemic many donations ceased, were cancelled, or no longer available to us," Magda Hewryk of Tiny Purring Rescue tells blogTO, "and we struggled to feed our feral colonies."

Like so many others these days, the rescue group got creative. First, they took to Etobicoke Facebook groups themed around pets, care, buying and selling, and free offers to ask for help.

They started small by asking for donations of spare cat food, as well as used disposable takeout and food containers to reuse at feeding stations. An eccentric private donation of 30 umbrellas was all sold off, and they were able to sell about half of the 24 vases from an old office from the same benefator as "Easter and Mother's Day" vases.

This response inspired them to launch their recycling initiatives. Initially, they were planning to contactlessly pick up your empties, scrap metal, e-waste, computers and cables and bring them to the Beer Store or local recycling company Metalogics.

But they've been getting so many requests for pick-ups that they're now asking that larger items especially be dropped off if possible, and to message on Facebook or Instagram for the address.

They're accepting car batteries, laptops, computers, tablets, wires from these items, faucets, stainless steel sinks, anything brass, anything copper and aluminum. They're not accepting household batteries or TVs.

"These fundraising initiatives require a lot of additional facilitating, collaboration, and communication efforts from Tiny Purring Rescue volunteers," Hewryk says. "The volunteers are literally working around the clock to manage appointments for pickups and sales as well as rides to the local Beer Store and Metalogics."

"The empties pickups get people's attention, they are very happy to have us pick up the empties stocked in their garages or storage and at the same time donate to our fundraiser."

Volunteers donate their time, vehicles and gas, and sometimes end up with more than just recycling materials; some people have been adding on cash donations to buy wet food. 

"We are overwhelmed by the response of the people in our community, everyone is being so generous," says Hewryk. 

TPR also occasionally raises funds for a specific cat in need, and they're currently seeking donations to pay for life-saving emergency dental and jaw reconstruction surgery for Callie, a neighbourhood feral tortoiseshell cat that used to live behind Il Paesano in Alderwood. 

It's one more reason to get started on that spring cleaning, and maybe even a way to make you feel good about that two-four of long weekend empties in the corner.

Lead photo by

Tiny Purring Rescue

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