MacGillivray Law Riverfront Cat Sanctuary

Margie Garland, from left, Gwen Doyle and Mike McGrath stand in front of the MacGillivray Law Riverfront Cat Sanctuary in New Glasgow.

(Goodwin photo)

Supporters of the MacGillivray Law Riverfront Cat Sanctuary in New Glasgow are celebrating their first year of operation with a cat food fundraiser for the sanctuary and two other cat-related groups.

Margie Garland and her friend, Gwen Doyle, are hosting a cat food fundraiser again this year for the cat sanctuary.

“This year we are also including CARMA Pictou Chapter as it’s their 10th anniversary, and also including Spay and Neuter Pictou County,” Garland said. “Together we will be collecting donations of food and money for the organizations to help them through the winter months. I so deeply appreciate how much support everyone gives me when I ask for their help.”

The local CARMA chapter is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization that marked its 10th anniversary in September.

The campaign continues until Nov. 25, while the delivery date is Nov. 27.

Garland said she has enjoyed the work associated with the shelter and the 30 cats that comprise the colony.

“It’s exciting and it’s rewarding,” she said.

“I love it,” Doyle said. “It’s my entertainment. They’re family.”

The cat sanctuary on the site of the former Maritime Steel and Foundry is well insulated. Side entrances have small entrances, boxes provide outer entrances that reduce wind and precipitation sifting into the main lodge. Smaller, inside buildings house some cats, while above them are two tiers of bunks. All are lined with straw for comfort and warmth.

“Some have their favourite spot,” Garland said. “People can watch them 24/7 on YouTube.”

Mike McGrath has helped with some of the construction and, with Lloyd Pentz, feeds the cats daily. He is among those who have experienced that some feral cats can become tamer.

“If they learn to trust you, they will be equal to a domesticated cat,” he said.

McGrath and Pentz moved the cats four times within the steel complex before moving them into their new home last October.

Money donations will also be collected for Spay and Neuter Pictou County to help them reach a goal of spaying or neutering 600 local cats at local veterinary clinics. Laurie d’Entremont created the group in 2013. The group only needs money to augment the vet bills for surgeries, although cat owners do pay a portion—$65 for females and $45 for males.

Gift cards for food or litter will also be accepted.

“Any type of cat food is welcome however, the sanctuary cats do prefer Whiskas bagged food and Friskies canned food to keep their diet consistent,” Garland said. “Gwen and I can arrange to meet for pick-up and all COVID-19 protocols will be in place.”

Garland has added e-transfer addresses for those who prefer to send money— for Spay and Neuter Pictou Co., for the MacGillivray Cat Sanctuary, and for CARMA.


Steve Goodwin is never without his camera and a notebook. He has been covering news and sports in Pictou County for more than four decades.