In two days, 57 cats were adopted at the Animal Protective Foundation, and just six new cats were surrendered, putting a swift end to a crisis that could have forced the shelter to euthanize some of the animals.
The shelter announced Tuesday that it was full, with 70 cats and kittens ready for adoption. It reduced its adoption fee for the month and held longer hours Thursday in hopes of reducing the population.
Residents turned out in droves.
“We really reduced the crisis quickly,” spokeswoman Marguerite Pearson said today.
She couldn’t keep up with the numbers — two more cats were adopted during one 15-minute interview.
Many new owners said they wanted to save cats from being euthanized.
“They felt badly that same animals might need to be put down,” Pearson said. “They wanted to help. Many said they’d been thinking about it for a while and decided, now is the time.”
Far from being full, the shelter now has just 13 cats available for adoption, and no kittens. The youngest cat is 1; the oldest is 9.
Most of the cats now waiting to be adopted were surrendered by their families. In one case, a child turned out to be allergic. Three other cats were brought to the shelter when their owners died. Two owners gave up their cats because they couldn’t take care of them.
But a few strays have also been deemed adoptable. One is waiting for a family now; five others were dropped off at the shelter this week and are being evaluated.
The shelter sterilizes and vaccinates every adoptable animal, as well as testing them for disease. To encourage the adoption of older cats, the shelter offers a reduced fee for them.
But those who want kittens will not have to wait long, Pearson said. She expects a flood of kittens as the summer birthing season gets under way.
“We’re going to continue to have more cats throughout the summer,” she said, adding, “We could very quickly fill up again.”