Canada Helps


How much do you really know about CAWES and animal issues on Bowen Island? Take our true/false quiz!


The “E” in CAWES stands for “Education”. true/false
TRUE. We feel we have a responsibility to share as much as we can about animal issues with the community – particularly those related to Bowen. Mostly, education our part takes place informally but, if requested, our President also gives informative and fun presentations to school children and other community groups.
CAWES is operated and funded by the Municipal Government. true/false
False. We are a small registered charitable group run entirely by volunteers from all over the island.
CAWES is strictly involved with cats and no other animals. true/false
False. Some people call us the “cat ladies”, but as you can see by the name we are not just about cats. Our mission is to create harmony between pets, people, and wildlife on Bowen Island – and to ensure that all creatures on our island are treated humanely and with respect.
All feral cats are ferocious animals. true/false
False. Some feral cats are wilder than others, depending on where they were born and how much human contact they’ve had. They only bite or scratch because they are scared. It’s wise to wear hand protection when handling a wild or feral cat.
In just 7 years one unspayed cat and her offspring can produce over 450,000 cats. true/false
True. It’s amazing how quickly they can multiply, especially if there is shelter and an abundance of food.
We have several cat feeding stations on Bowen Island. true/false
True. These feeding stations are for feral cats that cannot be captured and/or are not suitable as pets. Some are friendlier than others. We’ve also managed to capture for adoption many of the cats from our different feeding stations.
All dogs on Bowen must by law wear a collar and tag. true/false
True. Anyway, doesn’t it just make a lot of sense?! When somebody finds a dog running loose and can identify who he is and where he lives, it makes it’s so much easier to get the dog home quickly and safely – and eliminates him having to be kept in the pound until the family has been found.
It is illegal for dogs to run loose on Bowen. true/false
True. There are good reasons why we have this law: a dog running loose is in danger of being hit by a car. Dogs running loose, especially in packs of 2 or more, are also likely to run after deer and/or attack smaller animals like cats and rabbits.
Leaving a dog tied up on a long leash in the back yard is considered neglect. true/false
True – in some municipalities, although not a bylaw yet on Bowen. Dogs that are tied up outside feel vulnerable and scared – and this can make them act aggressively, when they might not usually be like this. We need to stop tying up dogs and instead make sure they are fenced in a large area where they can run but still feel safe.
It is against the law on Bowen Island not to have a pet cat spayed or neutered. true/false
False. CAWES is hoping to change this situation. In the proposed bylaw, unalterated cats over the age of 6 months would not be allowed to run freely. This would not affect legimitate breeders of cats, and pets that are indoors-only would not need to be spayed or neutered. If adult cats that are allowed run freely were all spayed and neutered, it would go a long way towards reducing the number of unwanted cats on Bowen Island.
It is against the law on Bowen Island not to have a pet dog spayed or neutered. true/false
False at this time. It means that dog owners need to be extra responsible about not letting their unspayed and unneutered dogs run loose.
All cats can survive by hunting. true/false
False. Although most cats have excellent instincts and are more likely to survive on their own in the wild than dogs, not all cats are good hunters – especially a cat that was once a pet and has been abandoned. This is why we think it is cruel to abandon a cat with the assumption that it will survive. The cat would have a much better chance with an animal rescue organization like CAWES. Even the SPCA is better than abandonment.
CAWES helps not only pets but also wildlife. true/false
True. We will advise the BI Vet Clinic and/or the wildlife rescue and marine life rescue organizations on the mainland of injured wildlife issues. We will help fund an animal’s recovery and, if necessary, transport it to the mainland. Most summers there are one or two seal pups abandoned on the beaches and sometimes a baby deer may be abandoned. Recently, we helped save a seagull whose wing was broken. With help from Dr. Westcott and a volunteer his wing has since mended and he has flown away to find his seagull friends.
CAWES provides foster care for pets in need. true/false
True – although we do need more fosterers. If you know of anybody who would be able to foster pets while we looked for adopters, please contact us.
A baby deer that appears to be abandoned should be watched from a distance for 8-12 hours before any action is taken. true/false
True. Mom will take off for several hours at a time and will tell her baby to stay put until she returns. If, after 4-6 hours mom doesn’t appear then CAWES or the vet clinic or a Wildlife Rescue group on the mainland should be contacted for guidance.
CAWES relies on donations from the community to do what we do. true/false
True. All of the money we raise goes towards the welfare of the animals on Bowen Island.
A baby seal that appears to be abandoned should be watched from a distance for up to 48 hours before any action is taken. true/false
True. Mom will go off to hunt. If she returns to the shore and sees human beings nearby she may not come back at all, but as long as we watch from a distance, she will return to look after her baby. Otherwise, CAWES or the vet clinic or the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Rescue Facility on the mainland should be contacted for guidance.
There are no skunks or raccoons on Bowen Island. true/false
False. This used to be true up until a couple of years ago! We believe that 3 raccoons and 3 skunks were dropped on Bowen by persons unknown. Some of them are still around – especially the skunks who have already had litters and are increasing in number.
Now that the cat population is under control on Bowen, there are more songbirds. true/false
True. People are remarking that they have noticed songbirds returning to Bowen. We believe this is because there are fewer cats hunting them for food.
All cats diagnosed FIV positive should immediately be put to to sleep because they are highly contagious and will die soon anyway. true/false
False. If a feral cat that lives in the wild and is not considered adoptable is diagnosed as FIV+ it might be considered kinder and more community responsible to have him euthanized. However, we are now learning that this is not necessary for all FIV+ cats. Pets with this condition can live long lives with few complications. They can also live with cats who are free of this condition. Some important facts about FIV: this condition is generally spread through a deep bite from fighting; it is not airborne; it is not highly contagious; and it does not necessarily develop into full blown AIDS.