by Dennis Dalman
It’s so crowded with cats and kittens at the Tri-County Humane Society the staff members wonder if they themselves will have to be evicted to make room for more and more cats.
As the staff is fond of saying, “It’s not raining cats and dogs; it’s raining cats and cats and more cats.”
The only room left for the cats is “on our laps,” quipped Vicki Davis, director of the humane society.
At the end of last week, there were 150 cats and/or kittens at the humane society shelter. The puppy room had to be adapted to house the overflow of cats. A cat sale just the week before helped free up room at the shelter, but the sale was no more than over when new cats began to arrive.
From now until at least the end of June – and most likely well into July – the Tri-County Humane Society is offering cat specials. Senior citizens who would like a gentle at-home cat companion can get any cat over 2 years old for free. In addition, veterans – active duty or not – along with their families can also get a free cat over the age of 2. All other people who are not seniors or veterans can choose a cat to adopt, 6 months or older, for an adoption fee of a person’s own choice.
The “free cat” offer is a real deal because all of the cats up for adoption have had exams and vaccinations; they’ve been spayed or neutered and they’ve had an I.D. microchip placed under their skin. The total expense to do those tasks is $325 per cat. They’re all good to go. All they’re lacking now is a “forever home,” Davis noted.
Spaying and neutering is a big annual expense for the humane society, but for several years the humane society has set a goal of spaying and neutering every animal before it is adopted. It is the surest way to prevent cat-population explosions, Davis said.
Almost all of the cats surrendered to the humane society recently were the result of their owners having to move to other places. In some cases, they dropped off the cats while they were literally on their way out of town to their new homes, Davis noted. In a few cases, cats adopted out were returned because of incompatibility issues, including some people discovering they are allergic to cats. Four cats brought to the shelter had been strays.
In addition to the cats at the shelter, there are some also up for adoption at the humane society’s adoption sites at PetCo and Pet Smart.
Some other cats will soon return from the University of Minnesota where they have been spayed or neutered.
Cat promotions do help, Davis said, but even when people respond well to the promotions and adopt cats, the cat over-population problem can become overwhelming. And, sad to say, it can lead to having to euthanize cats, Davis noted.
To adopt a cat or to find out more about the current cat-promotion program, call 252-0896 (after noon) or visit the humane society’s website at: www.tricountyhumanesociety.org.
Anyone interested in adopting an animal can see them on the website or in person at the humane society headquarters at 735 8th St. NE, St. Cloud.
The shelter hours are noon-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday; noon-8 p.m. Fridays; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays; and noon-5 p.m. Sundays.