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Feline adoptions needed to prevent euthanization

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By Bryan Marshall

An unexpected and drastic increase of felines at the Grant County Animal Shelter may lead to the euthanization of some kittens if adoptions do not increase.

The shelter normally has around 40 cats and kittens up for adoption at a time, said Brent Caldwell, interim director.

That number has jumped to more than 150 recently, forcing the shelter to scramble to find them homes as soon as possible.

“One truck brought 20 cats in,” Caldwell said. “We haven’t figured out why we’re getting so many so quick.”

“We’ve got a bunch of calls out to rescues trying to get them adopted out,” he said.

While dog adoptions are going well, people are not coming to the shelter to pick out a cat or kitten as a pet at the same rate.

To help entice customers, the $15 adoption fee will be waived if a person pays $45 to get the cat or kitten spayed and neutered.

Spaying and neutering a kitten can help keep the pet population down to prevent unnecessary euthanizations.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, one female cat and her kittens can produce 420,000 kittens in seven years.

“It’s up to us, to humans, to take responsibility and lower the numbers in a humane way,” said Brenda Wilson, president of the Friends of the Shelter, who recently sent out a mass e-mail asking for help from supporters of the shelter. “The time to lower the numbers is before kittens are born, not when a sweet, trusting, hopeful little creature is relying on us for its care and survival.”

In her e-mail, Wilson said that, in at least 10 cases, “a terrified mamma cat has been left with her entire, newborn family.”

Wilson also attributes the sudden influx of felines to people not being able to afford their pet in a down economy.

She is asking for people to step up if they have room to adopt or know someone who is looking for a furry friend for a pet.

Wilson said anyone who can donate cages, even temporarily, to the shelter would be helping.

A solution likely needs to come in the next couple weeks or Caldwell said the shelter may have to euthanize animals for one of the first times in 18 months.