Kittens flooding county animal rescue shelters
Humane Society, Tri-County looking for help in finding homes
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.
Just a few of the many kittens waiting to be adopted at the Humane Society of Charles County.
Maggie, a 2-month old Tabby at the Humane Society of Charles County, is ready to be adopted.