Growing cat population overwhelms animal shelter - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Growing cat population overwhelms animal shelter

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So far this month, more than 180 stray cats have already been brought into the animal shelter. So far this month, more than 180 stray cats have already been brought into the animal shelter.
The animal shelter needs help from the community to control the animal population. The animal shelter needs help from the community to control the animal population.

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office Animal Protective Services Department needs the community's help to control the overwhelming animal population there.

Hundreds of homeless cats in the area are at risk of being euthanized because there aren't enough homes for them, and the cat population is growing.

So far this month, more than 180 stray cats have already been brought into the animal shelter. Earlier this week, more than 50 cats were brought in on the same day.

Now, officials are asking for people to adopt the kittens, or at least to help control the intake.

According to Lt. Thomas Tolley, with the animal shelter, stray cats are brought in all year long, but there are more during the spring and summer months because of the warmer weather.

"It is spring. Kittens are being born.The population is exploding," said Tolley. "These cats can produce large numbers of offspring and those numbers grow and grow and grow."

The population of cats is growing so much that the animal shelter is overwhelmed.

"Our cat rooms are busting at the seams," he said.

Upon arrival, each animal is evaluated over a five-day period. Next, they're placed in different groups based on personality, health, and adopt-ability.

Tolley says the main problem is that only 10 percent of the cats at the shelter are adopted, while 70 percent are euthanized. The remaining cats are kept at the shelter.

Tolley says another problem is the huge influx of cats coming into the animal shelter on a daily basis.

"We've got to control the numbers coming into the shelter if we want to stop them from getting euthanized," said Tolley. "We're asking for the public's help to be responsible pet owners and help us find homes."

Not all cats at the animal shelter are up for adoption, but many of them are available right now.

To sweeten the deal, more than 65 percent of the animals that leave the shelter are already spayed and neutered. The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office Animal Protection Services Department hopes to have 100 percent of animals fixed by next year.

After completing the application process, most adoptions cost around $40.

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