Things are bleak at TAGG – The Animal Assistance Group Needs a Christmas Miracle


There is no more room at foster homes for cats. Without a permanent space – TAGG is hard pressed to continue rescuing cats.

“We took in a phenomenal amount of cats and kittens this year.” stated Cheryl Alberta in an interview with SaultOnline. Alberta is the president of TAGG. “We took them in with basically no where to put them. Right now, they are all in foster homes.” Alberta told SaultOnline that TAGG has a network of approximately 15 foster homes. “They can’t take any more cats in at this point. They are full.”

“We’ve always done cats. We do take small dogs on the odd occasion, but there simply isn’t anywhere left for them to go. We are overcrowded and every foster home is full.”

“There are 6 cats right now that I know need to be rescued, but I have no place to put them. There’s a man on People’s Road that didn’t feed his cats all summer while he went away for 6 months. Now they (cats) are running loose, even though the man is back and he is not trying to help them. I called the OSPCA rep here locally and let her know what is happening. A neighbour of the man has been feeding them (cats) as best they can.”

“With temperatures dropping, it is only a matter of time before they freeze to death.”

Earlier this year, TAGG wrote a letter to the City of SSM requesting a donation of space in a building for them to do their work. TAGG received a response letter from the City’s legal department back in September. “I’m willing to pay the PUC and other bills that will be incurred, but we really need the space. That is a priority for us right now.”

SaultOnline reached out to the City’s Legal Department with respect to both the letter TAGG received in September, and the issue of By-law enforcement.

“We’ve circulated the request from TAGG through the various city departments – but we’re not getting a huge response back. Sometimes it takes time to allow for departments to investigate any properties that could be adaptable.” shared Nuala Kenny, City of Sault Ste. Marie Solicitor.

“The City (SSM) has a contract with The Sault & District Humane Society for animal enforcement with respect to by-laws. They do what they can with their resources.”

TAGG is an independent organization and is not operated by the Ontario SPCA.

Excerpts below are from City of Sault Ste. Marie Municipal By-law re: Domesticated Cats.

April 14, 2008. THE CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF SAULT STE. MARIE BY-LAW 2000-49 Regulations: (R.1.2.3)

A by-law to regulate cats in the city of Sault Ste. Marie.

1. DEFINITIONS. In this by-law: (1)“At large” means to be found in a place other than the premises of the owner of the cat and not under the control of any person in such manner as to prevent escape; (4) “Control” includes care and custody;

CAT AT LARGE (a) Every owner of a cat must ensure that the cat, if it is unspayed or unneutered, whether pursuant to a breeder’s permit issued under this bylaw or otherwise, is not permitted to be running at large within the Municipality subject to section 5 (b). (b) No person shall suffer, allow or permit a cat under his or her control or of which he or she is the owner to trespass on any property unless permission is first obtained from the property owner or occupier.

An urgent matter for TAGG is an outstanding vet bill. Alberta needs $7,000 to pay off a veterinarian bill from the Sault Animal Hospital in Soo, Michigan. “The vet has always given us an awesome deal. He has helped us so much over the years. He is willing to let us pay the bill with Canadian money at par.”

Alberta stated that the vet bill is largely from taking cats for spay or neuter as well as rescued cats who need medical attention. “We found kittens outside that were starving to death two weeks ago, and those kittens are still with the vet because of the state they were in.”

“I’m putting out a plea to the community for help.  Please help us pay the vet bill. In August alone, we fixed over 400 male cats and 300 female cats. If we can pay this by the end of the year, it would be such a relief.”

“We started a fundraiser earlier this year to be put towards a permanent space for TAGG. There is an account at the Scotiabank in Station Mall. if anyone can help us, they can go into the branch and donate to the fund.”

TAGG was located originally on Albert Street (4 years ago) and then TAGG moved operations to Elgin St. for the last three years, which closed earlier this year. There is no central hub any longer. TAGG operates through Alberta and a network of foster homes she is able to garner.

“The most important thing right now is to get the vet bill paid off. We’ll be swamped again shortly with kittens, and we need to find a way to carry on.”

“Back in August, I gave City Hall figures for how many cats we are intervening on. And we support cats that come to us from as far away as Wawa, Elliot Lake – all over the District of Algoma really. A farmer in Echo Bay continually finds cats dropped off at their farm.”

“The vet in Sault Michigan actually fosters for us as well. I know how much work he does for us. He’s given us an awesome deal to accept Canadian money at par.”

TAGG has a working relationship with the OSPCA. “We work with the OSPCA (Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). That is the umbrella TAGG falls under.

“We need a shelter for cats. It’s that simple.” said Alberta, adding, “And the vet bill to paid down to zero. If people can help with the vet bill, they can do so directly through the Sault Animal Hospital in Soo, Michigan or by contacting TAGG.”

TAGG needs a Christmas Miracle – For the love of Cats.

Sault Animal Hospital is here: Or by calling (906) 635-5910.

TAGG is here:

Or contact Cheryl Alberta directly by calling: 705-575-7030

There is an account for TAGG at the Scotiabank at Station Mall.

TAGG is an independent organization and is not operated by the Ontario SPCA.



  1. I agree with the Gofundme idea! But let’s stop thinking small….. instead of begging for space and trying to pay a vet bill down, lets shoot for what we really need… TAAG needs to buy a building! Then this will never happen again.

  2. People use gofundme for everything else, why not this?
    I’m sure they would be all too glad to host another campaign from which they would get a good chunk of the donations.

  3. Between irresponsible owners who let their cats wander and never get them spayed or neutered and feral cats running around, you can’t even think about saving them all. The humane society euthanizes excess pets because they have no other choice, neither do you. It may be sad but it’s one of those things out of your control.

    • They devote their time energy and money to this on a volunteer basis! They aren’t trying to save them all I don’t think, but do what they can. I congratulate them on that effort and appreciate what they are trying to do, they go above and beyond. They help low income people spay and neuter their cats, I don’t see the humane society offering anyone help with that. If I was a millionaire, I would give TAAG a beautiful sanctuary to continue on with their good works.

    • Cindy Lou, there is a story about a girl who is throwing starfish back into the ocean. An old man stumbles upon her and asks her why she is doing that. She tells him how the starfish will die if left in the sun. The old man replies “There are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish. You cannot possibly make a difference.” The young girl bends down, picks up another one and tosses it out into the ocean. She replies, “I made a difference to that one.” They are doing a lot to help animals. What exactly are you doing?

Comments are closed.