PSPCA Shelter Overrun With Thousands of Cats and Kittens
By Tara Murtha
It’s not as cute as it sounds.
Though there’s some (relatively) good news in animal control—the lights won’t go out in the city’s main shelter June 30 since, according to Health Commissioner Don Schwarz, PSPCA will fulfill animal-control services into 2011—the bad news is there’s yet another crisis. Last time it was dogs, this time it’s cats. Thousands of cats and kittens will be euthanized unless some serious mass cat adoptions go down this weekend.
Like it does every year, kitten season has exploded. From early spring and through summer, unfixed street and pet cats hear the call of the wild, breed their brains out and create thousands upon thousands of kittens that will ultimately wind up flooding the shelters and, except for a lucky few, be euthanized.
Kitten season is why there tends to be highest euthanasia rates in July. Last July, the PSPCA reported that 76 percent of all animals that entered its doors were put down. The total number of euthanized cats reported in 2009 was 12,629.
The PSPCA sent out a press release shouting in caps: PHILADELPHIA SHELTERS OVERRUN WITH THOUSANDS OF CATS AND KITTENS. “We are in a crisis situation,” says CEO Susan Cosby. “Cats and kittens are flooding our shelters and we are running out of options. These innocent animals that deserve good homes are dying every day because there is no more room for them in the shelters.”
PSPCA generally avoids admitting crisis in public, so this means it’s really, really bad.
To help save the cats, PSPCA will be holding a Cat and Kitten Super Adopt-a-thon where all felines cost $1 to adopt. If you’ve ever thought about getting a cat, now is the time. Event details below.
Of course, it’s the fault of the humans. SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR CATS, people. It’s not their fault they do as animals do.
If you don’t know how or where to get an animal spayed or neutered, call the PSPCA or check out www.spayneuterphilly.com, a new outreach program to help locals find low-cost spay and neuter services, or call the new Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) new Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at 215-298-9680.
Animal lovers interested in saving lives who don’t have the room to adopt a cat long-term could also help out by fostering either through PSPCA or through PAWS, PSPCA’s biggest rescue partner.
You can help spare a mama cat and her litter of babies by hosting them until the kittens weigh three pounds, which is usually about three months. “For every litter that is fostered, we are able to rescue another litter from animal control that will be killed,” says Melissa Levy, director of PAWS.
Levy also emphasizes that her team and its extensive foster-parent network provides support for nervous first-time parents and their furry foster friends. Contact PAWS Adoption Center at 215-238-9901 for more details.
Details of PSPCA Adoption Event
“The Pennsylvania SPCA is holding this Cat and Kitten Super Adopt-a-thon in an effort to find homes for the thousands of homeless cats and kittens that have overrun its two Philadelphia shelters: Pennsylvania SPCA headquarters, located at 350 E. Erie Ave., and the Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) shelter, located at 111 W. Hunting Park Ave. A decreased number of adoptions, coupled with the extremely high intake numbers of cats and kittens over the past few months, have resulted in the current situation at the shelters.
The Cat and Kitten Super Adopt-a-thon begins Friday, June 25 and continues through Sunday, July 11. All cats and kittens will be available for $1. Adopters must fill out adoption applications, meet with counselors for application review and approval, show proof of identification and bring a copy of their lease or their landlord’s phone number if they rent so the shelter can verify if pets are allowed.”
Philadelphia adoption locations and hours:
The Pennsylvania SPCA Headquarters
350 E. Erie Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19134
Monday through Friday: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you DO adopt or foster, please send pictures!