Several households have fuzzy new companions after the Pender County Animal Shelter's efforts this week to adopt out 70 cats and kittens in its care.
As of Friday morning, all but one of the felines had been adopted.
The shelter is offering to waive adoption fees and give cats and kittens away through June 17. June 18-24, all cats will cost just $5.
Shelter director Jewell Horton said the shelter has taken in nearly 400 animals since May. More than half are cats and kittens.
“It is absolutely overwhelming emotionally, physically and financially for us and other shelters," Horton said. "This time of year it is a life or death crisis in Open Admission Shelters almost every day."
The animal shelter only has 50 dog enclosures and 48 cat enclosures.
“When you are getting around 400 animals a month space is a major issue," Horton explained.
The Pender County Shelter is an open admission shelter which means they cannot turn away an animal owned by a resident or found in Pender County.
"If we run out of space, and no rescues or civilian adoptions take place, we have to euthanize and that is devastating to our staff, " Horton said. "There really is no way to not fall in love with these animals. This is not their fault. We feed, clean and fight all day, every day to save them. And when that is not enough it takes a toll on staff."
Cats can have several litters of kittens a year and some litters can have between 3-5 kittens.
"We ask that the community donate, share and adopt. The biggest impact would be for more people to spay/neuter their pets and stop all these unwanted litters," Horton explained. "A shelter can only be as successful as the community that supports it. This is a team effort – staff & the public."
According to the NC Department of Agriculture, the Pender County Animal Shelter received 1,428 cats in 2017. Of those, 724 were not adopted and had to be euthanized.
Click here to see some of the kittens up for adoption.
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