Annex Cat Rescue: Cat Adoption with A Difference

Annex Cat Rescue is a 100% volunteer charity dedicated to addressing the plight of homeless cats in the Greater Toronto Area by:

  1. Humanely trapping homeless kittens and abandoned or stray adult cats for placement in our foster and adoption program;
  2. Feeding and providing medical care for feral cats in designated colonies;
  3. Curbing population growth in those colonies through trapping, spaying/neutering, and vaccinating;
  4. Educating the public on the compassionate treatment of homeless cats and responsible pet ownership; and
  5. Improving urban environments through community cooperation.
  • Adopt a Senior Cat Promotion

    Adopt a Senior cat promotion

    Why adopt an adult cat?
    When you adopt an adult cat, you know what you are getting. Their personalities are fully developed as are their body sizes and shapes. They are often up for adoption through no fault of their own; rather it is usually due to their previous owners’ issues: a new baby, allergies, and sometimes, sadly, illness or death. People who have adopted adult cats say they seem more grateful. perhaps it’s because they are chosen last.

    Take a look at our adoptable cats 7 years and older and chose an adult cat first.

  • Volunteer Profile: Laurie P

    What’s your story? Why did you first get involved with ACR?

    I adopted Flurry from ACR and wanted to help. Also, Guru, my male cat likes having a play friend and fostering is a great way to keep him young and playful.

    How are you helping now? What volunteer position are you filling? What does your work involve?

    Foster care.

    Laurie is fostering Kizi

    Describe a real winning moment for you as an ACR volunteer.

    Every time I place a foster in a new home.

    Why do you think people should volunteer with ACR?

    It’s rewarding to see the results of fostering and ACR goes above and beyond to support its volunteers and adopters. I can’t say enough about how supportive they were when Flurry took ill and didn’t recover.

    In your opinion, what is the most important thing that ACR does?

    Saves lives – both human and feline. Our pets rescue us as much as we do them.

    What do you do when you aren’t volunteering with ACR? What’s your “real” job?

    Non-profit fundraising and marketing.

    Besides rescuing cats, what are some of your other hobbies?

    Reading, hiking, outdoors.

    Do you live with any ACR cats at the moment? Who and what is their back story?

    Sadly no. Flurry was my only ACR cat and she passed away this winter.

    What cat do you dedicate your volunteer work to and why?

    Flurry – she was my constant friend and cuddler. I still miss her beautiful spirit.

    Find out more about volunteering with ACR.

  • Report From the Field: Shelter-Building Workshop

    We wondered what it would be like to help out at a Toronto Street Cats’ Shelter-Building Workshop. Yin, one of our writers, volunteered to go and find out. Here is her report.

    I arrived shortly after 10 am for the first workshop of the season, which runs from November to April. Volunteers, around 20 of them, had already organized themselves into different stations in the parking garage of the Toronto Humane Society and were working away to construct feral cat shelters. The goal for the day: 100 shelters by 3 pm. Throughout the morning, volunteers continued to file in, young and old, from diverse backgrounds. There was even a pair of exchange students from Turkey who came to help out. By noon, workshop attendance had risen to over 60 volunteers.

    shelter-building workshop

    When Toronto Street Cats first began these workshops in 2010, the organization had around 12 volunteers who made about a dozen or so shelters at each workshop. In the short span of five years, with the help of over 500 volunteers, TSC has built 3,222 shelters to date. The organization also holds spay and neuter clinics every month and it is looking to roll out its new initiative – putting together teams of volunteers who will actively solicit cat food donations to feed feral colonies. Anyone interested in helping should contact Toronto Street Cats.

    During my conversation with organizers Carol and Kali, they generously shared with me some interesting facts on the supply and demand of these cat shelters.

    TSC partners with companies such as The Home Depot, Canadian Tire, and Armtec to purchase building materials (i.e. bins, insulation, and piping). The shelters are sold at $15, to cover costs, to groups and individuals managing colonies or tending to one or two feral cats. The organization also gives a portion of the finished product to Toronto Animal Services and Animal Alliance of Canada. Shelters from the previous season have all been sold. Orders in preparation for this winter have already begun. To purchase a shelter, please place an order online.

    shelter-building workshop

    Volunteers work in an assembly line fashion. Each station is responsible for a distinct component or step in the construction. They work under the supervision of Team Leads, who are essentially volunteer veterans. I had an opportunity to speak with Joy and Heather, both Team Leads, who have dedicated their time to these workshops for the past 3 years. Both possess an overwhelming passion to help the feral cat population in the community.

    Jan, a first time volunteer, read about the workshop in the Toronto Humane Society’s newsletter. She loves cats and was motivated to help. Grade 10 students Henry, Harry, Fardin, and Tyler also wanted to contribute their efforts because of their love for animals.

    As a result of all of the volunteers’ hard work, close to 140 shelters were completed that day.

    If you are interested in learning more or volunteering with TSC to build feral cat shelters, please visit their website at The next workshop is Saturday November 28.

    — Yin Cai

    Photos courtesy Toronto Street Cats

  • Happy Tails: Nixie (Formerly Whoopee) and Panda

    Adopting Nixie and Panda was the natural course for Sarah, who grew up in a family that always had a dog or a cat, along with lots of other animals. “I was starting to miss having an animal friend around,” she said, looking back at the days before two furry creatures stepped into her life.

    Nixie and Panda

    But for her live-in boyfriend Eric, it was a different story. He had never had a pet before and didn’t know what to expect, and was initially a little hesitant. Sarah’s earnest pleas, however, won him over, and he eventually agreed to adding new family members.

    Sarah’s friend recommended she try Annex Cat Rescue. It didn’t take very long until Nixie captured her attention. The tabico, or tabby-calico mix, reminded Sarah of her favourite kitty, Hannah, from her childhood. Found in a mechanic’s shop with her sibling and their mother cat, Nixie was surrendered to ACR after the owner of the shop decided to keep the other two.

    Unfortunately, Nixie was already in the adoption process, so Sarah had to move on. A few days later, though, she got the news that Nixie’s adoption had fallen through. Sarah was back in the game!

    In the meantime, another foster family contacted her about Panda. The unique markings Panda has on her mouth made a big impression on Sarah because it makes Panda look like she’s always smiling. Despite the permanent smile, this runt of the litter, who was likely part of a colony rescue effort, was very shy at first.

    Nixie moved in first. The chatty tabico sniffed around her new environment and quickly settled in. Panda arrived two days later, showing a sharp contrast to Nixie. “Panda was a ghost cat for a few weeks,” Sarah said. They heard Panda eat at night and play with Nixie, but she hid under the couch every time people came in. “Eric and I just kept talking to her and trying to make her feel as safe as possible,” she said.

    It has been two years since Nixie and Panda became the part of the family. Nixie hasn’t changed since day one. “She’s a very vocal cat and sometimes I swear she speaks English,” Sarah said. “She’s the alpha, and she’s extremely affectionate and a little bit bossy.”

    Happy tail - Nixie and Panda

    Panda is still taking her time, but is gradually coming out of her shell. “I’m happy to say she is much more affectionate toward us now,” Sarah said. Though still shy, Panda doesn’t miss her chance revealing her personality. “She is definitely a little foodie,” she added.

    The biggest change, however, came from her boyfriend. Sarah said, “Eric has a much greater respect for animals and nature. He cares more about animal welfare in general now.”

    And of course, the proud owner of two cats has been cherishing the rewards of a life bonding with animals. “Soon after we brought Nixie and Panda home, our apartment felt more like a home,” Sarah said.

    — Alex Kitayama

  • Volunteer Profile: Ruth B


    What’s your story? Why did you first get involved with ACR?

    I adopted a cat from ACR two years ago. Her name is Salem (formerly Angelina). She is a precocious and pretty, little lady and a bright star in my sky. I saw how much heart ACR has and how being a small group of tightly-knit, hard working volunteers – they really do love the cats that they work so hard to help. I wanted to be a part of it because it is a natural extension of who I am. I also wanted to join forces with those who lend their time, energy and resources to help cats in need.

    How are you helping now? What volunteer position are you filling? What does your work involve?

    I am currently feeding feral cat colonies on designated routes with ACR. I am also gearing up toward being a palliative care foster mom.

    Describe a real winning moment for you as an ACR volunteer.

    Meeting Mia, another feral feeder who trained me. She has been feeding for two years and is a foreign student and a total angel.

    Why do you think people should volunteer with ACR?

    Because the cats need you.

    In your opinion, what is the most important thing that ACR does?

    Saves lives and changes lives.

    What do you do when you aren’t volunteering with ACR? What’s your “real” job?

    I own a pet sitting company.


    Besides rescuing cats, what are some of your other hobbies?

    Everything pets. And writing and photography. I am also a surrogate mom.

    Do you live with any ACR cats at the moment? Who and what is their back story?

    Salem. When I first adopted her, she hid in the closet for a month. She was skittish and afraid of everyone and everything. Her big, bright eyes were so afraid and mistrusting of the world. It took her nearly two years to trust me. I remember the first time she let me pick her up, after a year and a half. I welled up with tears when she put her head down and let me hold her and pet her neck. Now she grooms my hair every morning and melts my heart every time I catch a glimpse of her playing. Her eyes are still big and bright, but they are also filled with more trust and love.

    What cat do you dedicate your volunteer work to and why?

    I dedicate my volunteer work to all of the cats. All three of my rescues and all of the kitties in the world. Because they deserve it and some of the unluckier ones are so mistreated. So I volunteer to help change and save the lives of the ones that I can.

    Find out more about volunteering with ACR.

  • Happy Tails: Oscar (Formerly Gorgeous George)

    It was clear to the Annex Cat Rescue volunteer who spotted him that Oscar, a purebred shaded-silver Persian, didn’t belong in a feral cat colony.

    “Apparently, he had a bit of a heart murmur,” said his foster parent, Elva Ma. “They thought perhaps because of the genetic defect that he had been abandoned.” As a result, Oscar developed a mistrust of everybody and had a lot of social skills to learn — how to be around both humans and cats.

    Oscar was a dichotomy. For his first few weeks in foster care, Oscar hid upstairs. Eventually, he began to creep down while his fosters watched television and would sneak around the periphery of the room; he wanted to be near them but invisible. Later, he’d direct a funny hissing noise at them, then immediately succumb to their affections.

    “Because he’s a Persian, he always has sort of a sour look to his face, which just made him all the more adorable,” Elva said. Eventually, she realized that Oscar did enjoy being around people; he just needed lots of coaxing and patience.

    Happy Tails - Oscar

    Meanwhile, Rebekka Gondosch, who already owned a flame-point Himalayan, had always wanted more than one cat and was looking for another of a similar breed. She found Annex Cat Rescue’s website while seeking out local adoption options and thought it was welcoming. Plus, when she saw Oscar’s photo online she felt an instant connection. That feeling was mutual.

    “When she came to visit, we pretty much knew from the start that she was the right fit because he responded to her quite positively in a way that he didn’t do with us,” Elva said. Although Oscar liked his fosters in the end, he warmed up to Rebekka in a flash. She stayed for less than an hour that night and already Oscar had approached her and accepted some petting.

    “When I met him the first time, I looked at him and he looked at me and I thought, ‘We belong together,'” Rebekka said, “I felt it. I remember it as one of my most clear memories.”

    Elva also felt that because Rebekka had another cat who could show Oscar the ropes of how to be a cat, her home was the optimal one for him. Rebekka agreed that the influence of the energetic and vibrant Sookie would help Oscar shine and it has. Oscar has gone from being a cat who didn’t like to be touched to one who head butts his human while they take selfies together.

    “Do it,” Rebekka says to anybody who is on the fence about adopting a rescue cat. “Practice patience and unconditional love and just watch what unfolds — it’s such a great gift.”

    — Leslie Sinclair

  • PetSmart Charities™ National Adoption Weekend


    PetSmart National Adoption Weekend

    Annex Cat Rescue will be participating in PetSmart Charities’ National Adoption Weekend on Saturday November 14 and Sunday November 15. Come visit us at PetSmart Stockyards (map) between 10 am and 5:00 pm!

  • Happy Tails: Robbie

    In the spring of 2012, Robbie “the Wanderer” was living on the streets with a colony. Despite his expeditions in the wild, Robbie possessed very good house manners. And this was important because he was soon to be embarking on a new adventure indoors.

    Foster parent Emma and her boyfriend Jameel took Robbie in and fostered him for over a year. In that time, they grew to love him and consider him as part of their family. As a surprise for her boyfriend’s birthday, Emma decided to adopt Robbie. She wrapped a big giant red bow around Robbie’s neck and they both patiently waited for Jameel to walk in the front door that day to share the good news!

    When Robbie first came to live with them, he was shy and reserved, but now, he is a very loving and affectionate cat. Emma informs me that Robbie has become more social and comfortable around guests too. She describes him as a “lap cat”; def. a cat that won’t hesitate to jump on a new friend’s lap.

    Ask yourself, is your cat a “lap cat”?

    Happy Tails - Robbie

    Emma highly recommends fostering as a great precursor to adoption. It helps the pet owner to get to know the cat first and discover if there is a good fit.

    Robbie is an impeccable fit for the couple, Emma and Jameel, as he brings so much happiness and love into their lives.

    Congratulations Wanderer for finding a place to call home.

    — Yin Cai and Emma Holland

  • Volunteer Profile: Tess L.

    What’s your story? Why did you first get involved with ACR?

    Ok, confession time. I wasn’t even a cat lover a few short years ago… cats seemed to be these unpredictable moody creatures. Born and raised dog lover, that’s me or so I thought…

    Anyway, I had just finished university, started a full-time job and got my first apartment – I felt very ‘adult’ and while I wanted a dog I knew I wasn’t ready for the commitment. So after a few months, I adopted my cat from the local SPCA. And I continued to be involved with that SPCA by visiting the shelter and dropping off donations. But when I moved back to Toronto, I wanted to be more involved with an animal rescue organization on a regular basis. I did some research and came across ACR and it was simply a great fit.

    Volunteer Tess and Pancake

    How are you helping now? What volunteer position are you filling? What does your work involve?

    I’m a Social Media Community Manager, there are a few of us and we each take shifts throughout the week monitoring and engaging with folks over the various social media platforms. I quite enjoy it!

    As a group we get to share happy stories about the cats that have found homes, let people know about which cats are looking for homes, and just share anything cat-related really. Which means it is my job to look at photos of cats and watch cat videos all day long.

    Describe a real winning moment for you as an ACR volunteer.

    Just recently ACR raised over $12,500 for the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon Charity Challenge! This is simply amazing, no doubt we’re going to have a lot of happy kitties.

    Why do you think people should volunteer with ACR?

    The most important aspect about volunteering is that you are doing it out of your heart. If you believe in second chances and are looking to help out a few cats and the community, you will meet a fantastic network of like-minded people at ACR.

    In your opinion, what is the most important thing that ACR does?

    While ACR is involved with TNR, fostering, adoptions and more, I believe feral colony feeding is very impactful to our communities.

    What do you do when you aren’t volunteering with ACR? What’s your “real” job?

    I’m a Project Coordinator at a medical association and lead a program that connects physicians with various support providers throughout the province.

    Besides rescuing cats, what are some of your other hobbies?

    I am also a dog walker at the Toronto Humane Society, and I volunteer with a kids’ program at a community centre. But outside my volunteer activities, I quite enjoy sampling an array of desserts and making origami crafts.

    Do you live with any ACR cats at the moment? Who and what is their back story?

    Unfortunately not at the moment. We’re quite a houseful with a cat and the family dog.



    What cat do you dedicate your volunteer work to and why?

    My cat, Pancake. I rescued her as a tiny kitten. While she certainly can be unpredictable and moody, she’s also shown me how affectionate and intelligent cats are. It is truly an unconditional kind of love these creatures offer. And to think that there are hundreds of cats looking for their forever homes, I’m truly lucky to have her. She’s the reason I volunteer, to help and connect other humans with their feline mate(s).

    Find out more about volunteering with ACR.

  • Happy Tails: Augie & Edie (Formerly Tigger and Button)

    Around Valentine’s Day of last year, Emmy was ready to open her heart to someone new after the passing of her previous cat. Her friends had experience adopting from Annex Cat Rescue and were pleased with the process, the people, and the animals. And so, Emmy went onto the organization’s website in search for a connection.

    Initially in her mind, she was only looking for one cat, but her husband suggested that they get two so that each animal would have a companion. Emmy was open to the idea of a “bonded pair”, where the cats are raised together and should be adopted as so.

    Happy Tails: Augie & Edie

    Her search criteria had inevitably narrowed.

    Emmy was scrolling through profiles endlessly trying to find the purrfect pair when she saw a picture of the most beautiful and most striking set of siblings. Brother Augie and sister Edie immediately caught her eye.

    On a cold winter’s day, Emmy and her husband went to meet the cats in person. They noticed that the siblings had very different personalities. Augie was very trusting. He would roll over and expose his belly for rubs. Edie was timid and scared. However, both Emmy and her husband got a good feeling from their interactions and realized that a second date was not necessary.

    When it’s right, it’s right.

    Happy Tails: Augie & Edie

    The couple brought the cats home the very next day. Right off the bat, Augie seemed comfortable and was walking around, sniffing things to get a feel for the place. Edie went under the couch frightened and Emmy did not see her until three days later. Not to worry, Edie is currently very happy living with her owners. All in all, it was matches made in heaven!

    — Yin Cai

Donate. Volunteer. Adopt.