The American Humane Association estimates that four million cats and kittens end up in animal shelters every year. Sadly, close to 70 percent of them are euthanized. During the early summer months, animal shelters are over-run by kittens, which takes a toll on shelters as space and resources become limited. The hardest hit are the homeless adult cats, who are forced to compete with the abundance of kittens also looking for permanent homes. This is why animal shelters across the nation are currently celebrating Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month. Here are some ways you can help ease the burden on shelters this time of year:
· Spay or neuter your cat. The single most important thing you can do if you already own a cat is to make sure they are spayed or neutered and encourage others to do the same. Most veterinarians will spay or neuter a cat who is two months old and weighs two pounds. If you are having trouble affording the cost of the surgery, call your local humane society to see if there are discounts available.
· Volunteer to become a foster parent. Many kittens that wind up at shelters are in need of fostering. Fostering entails taking care of homeless kittens who arrive at shelters too young to be adopted–typically those under six weeks of age. Foster parents are also needed for kittens who are recently born and still nursing or those who are without a mother and need bottle-feeding. Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP) is in need of foster parents. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent for kittens in Santa Barbara, visit www.asapcats.org/volunteer/fostering.html or call (805) 683-3368 for more information.
· Adopt a cat. Adopting a cat will enrich your life. Not only will their playful antics keep you entertained for hours, but owning a cat can reduce your blood pressure and help prevent heart disease. Another good feature about cats is that they are independent and can be left alone while you are at work (especially if you have multiple cats). Cats are very low maintenance–they litter box train themselves and they stay clean since they bathe themselves (it also helps them stay clean if you keep them inside). Cats are also not picky about where they live; they are just as content in a one-bedroom apartment as they are in a four-bedroom house. Contrary to the opinion of some, cats are social and affectionate creatures. I’ve never owned a cat that didn’t want to cuddle and sleep in bed with me. Enjoy your life more with the addition of a cat to your family!
If you’re not able to adopt a cat, there are still ways you can help during Adopt-a-Cat Month. Here are five great suggestions by Petfinder:
1. Donate your Facebook status. Just paste this message into the “What’s on your mind?” box at the top of your page: “June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month. Save a life: Adopt a cat! www.petfinder.com”
2. Tweet, re-tweet and repeat the following (or your own brilliant message): “June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month. Save a life: Adopt a cat! To find a shelter cat, visit www.petfinder.com”
3. Contact your local shelter or rescue group and ask if they have a donation wish list or other flyer they’d like to you to post around your office or neighborhood. They may be holding special events for Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, which you can help promote.
4. Share an adoptable cat or a Petfinder cat-adoption on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter page each day of the month.
5. Contact your local shelter or rescue group and offer to relieve the duty of one of their volunteers and photograph their adoptable pets and upload the pictures to Petfinder.
Specials for Adopt-a-Cat Month:
In honor of Adopt a Cat Month, Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP) will be holding two events on Saturday, June 16.
ASAP Adoption Event at Perry Ford Dealership–June 16, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. ASAP will be bringing adoptable cats and kittens to the Perry Ford Dealership. Come visit and take a kitty home! Perry Ford is located at 440 Hitchcock Way.
ASAP Presents: The PussyCAT Chronicles—a fundraiser celebrating the lives of shelter cats. June 16, 6-9 p.m. This fundraiser will feature storytelling, wine, hors d’oeuvres, music, and a silent auction. Tickets are $35/person, which is the approximate cost of spaying/neutering at cat at ASAP. The PussyCAT Chronicles will be held at Red’s Bar and Tapas, 211 Helena Ave.
If you are thinking of adopting a cat or kitten, stop by ASAP at 5473 Overpass Road, off Patterson Avenue during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturday,10 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed Sundays). For more information and to see some of their adoptable cats, visit ASAP on the web at www.asapcats.org
Happy Adopt-A-Cat Month!!
Caring and Sharing Event–Saturday, June 2,1-5 p.m., Calle Real Shopping Center.
K-9 PALS will be one of the featured non-profit organizations at the Caring and Sharing Event, Saturday, June 2, 1-5 p.m., at the Calle Real Shopping Center. The Center will be transformed into a non-profit showcase and neighborhood party. K-9 PALS will be showcased along with Second Chance Cocker Rescue and Homestretch Greyhound Rescue, in front of The Pet House, at 5781 Calle Real, Goleta
K-9 PALS provides major veterinary care for the sick and injured stray dogs at Santa Barbara County Animal Services, donating over $110,000 in medical care in 2011 to make these dogs adoptable. At this event, K-9 PALS will have adoptable dogs from Santa Barbara County Animal Services and volunteers available to discuss volunteer opportunities and answer any questions.
Presented by the Calle Real Merchant’s Association, over 30 merchants will be sharing their storefronts this day with a wide variety of non-profits allowing them a venue to show just what it is that makes these non-profit organizations so valuable to our community.
The event will not be just an educational opportunity, there will be fun activities and a party atmosphere for the whole family, including music, a photo booth courtesy of AMS Entertainment, balloon animals, a fire truck courtesy of S.B. County Fire, food sampling from participating restaurants, and much more.
Adoptable Pet of the Week
Sola is a long-haired black cat who loves attention! She will be your servant for a treat or some brushing and pampering. This three-year-old is talkative and loves to play. Sola’s favorite pastime is bird-watching. She’s really looking for a home and people to call her own, where she can rule supreme as the only feline in your life! Sola gets along well with dogs.
Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP) is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization that takes care of the cats and kittens at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter. ASAP provides humane care for these animals and works to eliminate the practice of euthanizing them for reasons other than serious health or behavior problems.
For more information, visit ASAP at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter, 5473 Overpass Rd. Adoption hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, visit www.asapcats.org or call (805) 683-3368.
The following is included in the adoption fee at ASAP: Spay or neuter surgery, flea treatment, vaccinations, microchipping, health evaluation, including testing for feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Cats thought to be 10 years or older receive a full blood panel evaluation, thus assuring that the cat is indeed healthy and adoptable, medical and drug coverage through ASAP’s vet for two weeks beyond adoption, if necessary, temperament evaluation and cat carrier (you can save the County money by bringing your own).