Look­ing for a furry friend? AWL has cats, lots of cats

Record Observer - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

QUEEN­STOWN — The An­i­mal Wel­fare League av­er­ages about 150 cats at its fa­cil­ity, all avail­able for adop­tion, at any given time. Cur­rently, the Queen Anne’s County an­i­mal shel­ter, lo­cated at 201 Clay Dr., has about 180 cats.

But in the com­ing weeks, An­i­mal Wel­fare League staff will have an even big­ger chal­lenge. It will have to deal with 100 cats more than nor­mal, as about 70 cats will be com­ing to the fa­cil­ity.

“We’re here. We have cats,” said shel­ter man­ager Kirstyn Northrop-Cobb. “If you’re con­sid­er­ing a cat, now is the time.”

Be­ing the county shel­ter, Northrop-Cobb said the non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion ac­cepts all stray and sur­ren­dered an­i­mals in the county. So, when a lo­cal farmer wanted to get rid of his “over abun­dance” of cats, about 70 of them, in steps the An­i­mal Wel­fare League.

To help man­age all of the fuzzy fe­lines, NorthropCobb said the farmer is work­ing with An­i­mal Wel­fare League to stag­ger when the cats will be dropped off. In the mean time, Northrop-Cobb said the or­ga­ni­za­tion is fo­cused on pro­mot­ing adop­tion to help mit­i­gate some of the sit­u­a­tion. She also said the or­ga­ni­za­tion will work to find fos­ter homes for some of the cats as well reach­ing out to other an­i­mal res­cue or­ga­ni­za­tions to see they can help and po­ten­tially take a few.

For in­ter­ested adopters, Northrop-Cobb said staff want the per­son to pick the cat and the cat to pick the per­son, al­low­ing in­ter­ested can­di­dates to get ac­quainted in a room at the fa­cil­ity. All cats that are adopted out are fully vet­ted, com­ing spayed or neutered, vac­ci­nated and tested for leukemia and AIDS, Northrop-Cobb said. The fe­lines are also mi­crochipped.

A staffer con­ducts a back­ground check on the ap­pli­cant to make sure there is no his­tory of an­i­mal abuse, and if com­pleted, the cat can go home the same day, NorthropCobb said.

Northrop-Cobb said an­other av­enue to pur­sue is to fos­ter cats out. In­ter­ested peo­ple can con­tact An­i­mal Wel­fare League, which pro­vides the fos­ter­fam­ily ev­ery­thing needed — vet­eri­nary care, be­hav­ioral train­ing and food. “All they need to do is pro­vide a lit­tle bit of space,” she said.

Find­ing fos­ter homes for kit­tens, she said, is par­tic­u­larly help­ful for the shel­ter be­cause Mary­land state law states cats can’t go home with some­one un­til eight weeks of age.

“Some­times peo­ple with kit­tens that are un­der eight weeks of age, we can’t adopt out yet be­cause they aren’t old enough,” Northrop-Cobb said. “So, that’s where our fos­ters usu­ally come in handy.”

An­other op­tion the An­i­mal Wel­fare League is go­ing to ex­plore is find­ing par­tic­i­pants for its barn cat pro­gram. Northrop-Cobb said that peo­ple look­ing to have fewer ro­dents in their barns or ware­houses or sim­i­lar set-ups could take ad­van­tage of the pro­gram and adopt mul­ti­ple cats. “We do have cats that would be good in those sit­u­a­tions,” Northrop-Cobb said.

“In ad­di­tion to that we’ve got a lot of cute lit­tle fuzzy kit­tens,” she said.

Northrop-Cobb said the or­ga­ni­za­tion al­ready has a tough time adopt­ing out all of its cats, be­cause there are “just so many of them.” Though the or­ga­ni­za­tion is in par­tic­u­lar need of fam­i­lies now, she said An­i­mal Wel­fare League is al­ways in need of fam­i­lies to adopt.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.awlqac.org.

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @mike_k­ibay­times.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

The Queen Anne’s County An­i­mal Wel­fare League is look­ing for in­ter­ested peo­ple to adopt cats as it will be tak­ing in about 70 more in the com­ing weeks.

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

Th­ese kit­tens, born at the An­i­mal Wel­fare League of­fice in Queen­stown, are ready for adop­tion.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

The Queen Anne’s County An­i­mal Wel­fare League is look­ing for in­ter­ested par­ties to adopt cats as it will be tak­ing in about 70 more in the com­ing weeks and is al­ready over ca­pac­ity.

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