FORT MILL TOWNSHIP — The Humane Society of York County has made finding homes for its 175 cats and kittens a priority because its shelter does not have room to host any more cats and kittens.
There are two rooms at the Humane Society for 66 kittens and another two rooms for 86 adult cats. There are another 23 kittens living with foster families until they are old enough to live in the cages at the shelter.
Many cages in the kitten room host three or four kittens at a time, which is why HSYC volunteer Stacy McConaghy said they need to find permanent homes.
“We need to get some of them adopted because when they start growing, there can’t be three to four to a cage,” McConaghy said. “The big cat room is already full.”
More kittens have been dropped off this year, according to McConaghy. Most of the kittens at the HSYC were brought in by families whose cats gave birth.
While trying to find homes to prevent overcrowding of the shelter, the Humane Society has also teamed up with Carolina Animal Place Hospital, located next door, to help alleviate the issue of the overpopulation of cats and kittens in York County. In conjunction with HSYC, Carolina Animal Place Hospital is having a spaying and neutering special for $39, to encourage residents to spay and neuter their cats.
As part of the adoption fee, cats are up-to-date on their shots, and are spayed or neutered. Kittens too young to be spayed or neutered are given a voucher to have the process done once they are of age. To encourage adoption, the Humane Society is running a special: two kittens or cats for $99 through July. According to McConaghy, it usually costs around $70 to adopt one cat.
Those interested in adopting a cat or kitten must visit the Humane Society to spend time with them to figure out which one they would like to adopt. After selecting a cat or kitten, they must fill out an application. If their application is approved they have a 24-hour waiting period in which they are encouraged to make sure that they are certain in their decision and to buy supplies to ready their house for a new pet. McConaghy said cats can live as long as 20 years, although the average age is 12 to 14 years.
“It’s a big responsibility,” McConaghy said.
There are 11 cats that were returned to HSYC from families, so McConaghy said it is important to try finding families committed to providing “forever homes.”
Some of the cats at the shelter have been living there for up to four years because cats are less likely to be adopted than kittens, McConaghy said. She encourages people to consider adopting adult cats.
The large number of cats and kittens has also led the Humane Society to seek more volunteers, McConaghy said. They host volunteer orientations the first Saturday and the third Friday of each month to familiarize volunteers with the environment before getting started. Volunteers must be 16 years or older, but those younger than 16 can volunteer with an adult.