The cast of SYFY's forthcoming comics adaptation Deadly Class has launched a fundraiser to benefit VOKRA, an organization that helps find homes for stray, neglected, and abandoned cats. In exchange for contributions of $10 and up, fans will be entered in a raffle to win autographed photos, video messages, and one of twenty-five Deadly Class comics signed by the whole cast.
The charity was chosen by Siobhan Williams, who plays Brandy on the series. She has personally sheltered dozens of cats, and can vouch for VOKRA's commitment to preventing animals from being killed because they are "unadoptable."
"I've volunteered for a good number of animal welfare rescues - and I have to say that VOKRA is more unique than most," Williams told ComicBook.com. "They are 100% no-kill (whereas most no-kill organizations still euthanize a good percentage of animals - ie any animals that require any sort of physical or behavioral treatment, but they don't tell you that), and they have the majority of their cats in foster homes as opposed to in a shelter....VOKRA doesn't discriminate. They help cats in every stage of life, from all backgrounds. It's important to us to spread the word about fostering and how vital it is in the rehoming of cats and dogs. All animals spiral downwards quickly in animal shelters. The physical and psychological trauma of being locked in a cage with very little space, very little human interaction, and surrounded by hundreds of other distressed animals is toxic to their health. When I volunteered at a 'no-kill' dog shelter before VOKRA, I witnessed firsthand many times highly intelligent dogs come into the shelter healthy and happy. Within a few weeks of not being adopted, they would begin to go stir crazy and it wreaked havoc on their mental health. These animals would completely change, and within a month the shelter would determine them to be 'unadoptable' and a 'threat to society,' and they would euthanize them. I am talking one-year-old beautiful german shepherds, a two-year-old great dane. Animals that should have been given a chance, but because no one was willing to foster them and see them in a real-life situation; a home with human affection, they were disposed of."
Those situations don't happen with VOKRA, because every animal that comes in finds its way to a foster home, even if they are semi-feral or feral. She also says finding foster homes for strays helps to free up space in other shelters, effectively cutting down on the pressure to move or euthanize animals in a short turnaround time.
"If more people fostered, shelters would have exponentially more space, and we'd virtually write kill shelters out of existence," Williams said. "VOKRA is wonderful because they operate almost purely with fosters. They have a small operatives center that they use as a temporary holding facility for some cats, but they have over 600 foster homes in Vancouver. I have fostered over 25 cats in the last year (most of them kittens), and it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life."
You can contribute here -- and read directions on how to make sure you get entered in the drawing.
She said that while she often hears animal lovers saying that they could not bear to part with the animals, and so would make for a poor foster home, it is important to remember that it would be even harder to realize that the cats she has helped would likely have been euthanized if she had not stepped up.0comments
Deadly Class centers on a boarding school for young assassins, and Williams herself plays a remorseless racist and bully -- so this is one of those times where you get to see an actor's best side before you come to know them as a homicidal monster.
The series will premiere on January 16 on SYFY.