Kit­tens flood­ing county an­i­mal res­cue shel­ters

Hu­mane So­ci­ety, Tri-County look­ing for help in find­ing homes

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com

It’s sum­mer­time — or, as the an­i­mal shel­ters like to call it, “kit­ten sea­son.” The Hu­mane So­ci­ety of Charles County has al­most 200 kit­tens ready to be adopted into an ev­er­last­ing friend­ship.

“We are al­ways in­vaded with kit­tens at this time of the year, but this year was a lit­tle worse than oth­ers,” said Starla Rai­born, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Hu­mane So­ci­ety of Charles County. “When they first came in it was a to­tal of 198 and half of them are cur­rently in foster homes, while the other half are still hav­ing surg­eries.”

As of July 11, the Hu­mane So­ci­ety of Charles County kit­ten sta­tis­tics are 37 kit­tens lo­cated at the shel­ter, eight kit­tens at the Petco adoption cen­ter in Wal­dorf, 104 kit­tens in foster care and 31 kit­tens

now ready to adopt this week. The re­main­der will be ready over the next three weeks, along with new kit­tens added daily.

“Thou­sands of cats are eu­th­a­nized in our county right now and a lot of peo­ple aren’t aware that ev­ery year the prob­lem gets big­ger,” Rai­born said. “When you adopt these kit­tens they al­ready are spayed, neutered and vac­ci­nated, mi­crochipped, but it’s through adoption and care for these an­i­mals that the pop­u­la­tion comes un­der control. Peo­ple find­ing them and bring­ing them into us helps to pre­vent the sim­plest deaths that hap­pen when the pop­u­la­tion of cats have just ex­ploded.”

The Hu­mane So­ci­ety of Charles County kit­ten in­take from July 1 to July 11 was a to­tal of 30 bot­tle baby kit­tens and 31 kit­tens, for a to­tal of 61 kit­tens and an av­er­age of six new kit­tens per day. This kit­ten sea­son to date, there have been 156 bot­tle ba­bies, 362 kit­tens mak­ing for 518 kit­tens in to­tal. Rai­born said by the time the ba­bies are 8 weeks old, they will be weened and ready for surgery.

“It’s def­i­nitely be­liev­able that the an­i­mal shel­ters are full at this time of year,” said Kim Stephens, Tri-County An­i­mal Shel­ter su­per­vi­sor. “June and early July is when we see an in­flux of cats be­cause they start re­pro­duc­ing dur­ing the spring. Our kit­tens come in as lit­ters and since we don’t have enough cages for all of these cats, we en­cour­age folks to spay and neuter their cats so that we can all limit the amount of cats com­ing into the fa­cil­ity.”

Many of the kit­tens were found by lo­cal res­i­dents on the road, aban­doned by their mother, and in some cases their mother was feral or died. On oc­ca­sion, the kit­tens and their mom have come into the shel­ter to­gether.

Ac­cord­ing to the Hu­mane So­ci­ety of Charles County, the older the kit­tens get, the less likely they are to be adopted, so the shel­ter makes an ex­tra ef­fort to get them adopted within a month or two of them com­ing into the shel­ter.

“This year we’ve had a later kit­ten sea­son than usual be­cause of the snow and then all of a sud­den it ex­ploded,” Rai­born said. “We now have all of these kit­tens who are now ster­il­ized and climb­ing all over our foster care walls, ready to go into their for­ever homes.”

The Hu­mane So­ci­ety of Charles County is run­ning out of cages for the in­flow of kit­tens. As kit­tens can be­gin re­pro­duc­ing at 4 months old, it is im­por­tant to get them adopted quickly — or the shel­ter could have a larger sec­ond wave of kit­tens com­ing in.

Ac­cord­ing to Stephens, the Tri-County An­i­mal Shel­ter works with a large num­ber of res­cues both lo­cal and all over the East Coast to help lo­cal shel­ters move enough cats through adoption. The up­com­ing “Clear the Shel­ters” day is a na­tional adoption event hap­pen­ing on July 23 that hopes to help many of the an­i­mals that are cur­rently in the shel­ter be­come adopted.

STAFF PHOTO BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

Just a few of the many kit­tens wait­ing to be adopted at the Hu­mane So­ci­ety of Charles County.

STAFF PHOTO BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

Mag­gie, a 2-month old Tabby at the Hu­mane So­ci­ety of Charles County, is ready to be adopted.

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