As the summer progresses and the heat increases, so does the cat population at the Animal Welfare Society's animal shelter. The small, no-kill shelter located on Leetown Pike has experienced a 100 percent increase in cats and kittens in the last 3 three months. The average number of cats/kittens that reside at the shelter waiting for homes is around 35. The population of cats and kittens this month is over 70, doubling the average number.
Eighteen of those 70 are kittens in foster care because the capacity of the shelter is beyond its limit. As shelter cats are adopted, foster cats move into the shelter to await their forever home. The problem arises when a cat is adopted and another one is left, defenseless in a box on the doorstep of the shelter in the middle of the night, preventing cats and kittens in foster care from returning to the shelter for adoption. Foster cats are showcased during Petco and PetSmart adoption days with success, but these adoptions do not keep up with the number of incoming cats. In April, AWS started with 40 cats; by June, 58 new cats had arrived with 27 adopted.
The shelter's goal is for these cats and kittens to begin life in their forever homes as soon as possible. To increase adoptions, the shelter is discounting the adoption fee for all cats and kittens by 50 percent for the months of July and August. The adoption cost for one cat will now be $40 and, now, individuals can get two companion cats for the price of one ($80). Senior citizens adopt for free and senior cats over the age of 7 are $20.
A special is being offered by the local Animal Welfare Society for those interested in adopting kittens or cats.
This fee still includes all the first year vaccinations, (including rabies), feline leukemia, feline AIDS, heartworm testing and deworming. The fee also includes the spaying or neutering of each cat prior to adoption. Cats residing at Petco in Ranson and PetSmart in Martinsburg are already spayed or neutered and most cats/kittens at the shelter are also ready to go to their forever homes.
By adopting this summer, one not only helps a new cat(s) by providing a forever home, but also helps all the other cats in waiting by furnishing them with more elbow room at the shelter. Many cats may be viewed on the AWS website www.awsjc.org, but a visit to the shelter, Petco or PetSmart will allow interaction with a potential new best friend(s).
The Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County was incorporated in 1952 and is celebrating its' 60th anniversary of helping homeless pets in the community. The shelter is located at 23 Poor Farm Rd, in Leetown near the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. The shelter is open Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment during days the shelter is not open to the public. The shelter is always in need of cat litter, kitten food, paper towels and monetary donations. For more information, call 304-725-0589.