Animal Shelter Assistance Program, aka ASAP, will be hosting its fourth annual free adoption event. The special adoption weekend will be held on Saturday, August 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, August 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. This adoption event waives the regular $75 adoption fee and offers adult cats to qualified adopters completely FREE, except for a lifetime commitment to provide love and care to a healthy, adoptable shelter cat.

Adult cats tend to get passed over during the summer months when animal shelters are overflowing with kittens. Many people never even look at the cages of adult cats when kittens are at the shelter. According to executive director Angela Walters Rockwell, “There are dozens of adult cats desperately in need of loving, adoptive homes. Some of the adult cats have been waiting for over a year–spending too many lonely nights in a cage.” Although many people think about kittens this time of year, there are many benefits of adopting an adult cat. If you adopt an adult cat, you know exactly what you’re getting. Body type, coat, and eye color are set. Most importantly, you’ll know your cat’s personality. You’ll know whether your cat is going to be laid-back or active, quiet or vocal, cuddly or demanding, since adult cats have already settled into their own personalities.

Of course, if you have your heart set on a kitten, ASAP’s shelter has kittens too. Kittens can be adopted at the special rate of two for $75. This is a wonderful promotion and I would highly recommend adopting two kittens together. When you adopt two kittens, they are able to learn from each other. Kittens are able to gain knowledge of social skills, play skills, and other important behavioral traits when they play together. And best of all, when you are away from the house, two kittens have each other to play with and keep each other company.

ASAP was the first organization working with a municipal shelter in the United States to stop the killing of adoptable cats for population control. They became the first animal rescue organization in the region to offer free adoptions when it held the first Certified Pre-Owned Cat Sale in 2011. This event was a huge success, with 76 cats adopted out to suitable homes, and the second event in 2012 was expanded county-wide and resulted in 87 cats sleeping in new homes instead of a cage at the shelter by the weekend’s close. The excitement these events generated brought 10 times the usual number of people to the Santa Barbara shelter, and drew attention to the problem of cat overpopulation and the need for responsible cat lovers to bring a shelter cat or kitten into their lives. Some adopters came to “shop” in advance and were so taken with a cat that they chose to adopt in advance and pay the full fee, rather than miss out on their dream companion. And several of ASAP’s long-term resident cats–who had been at the shelter a year or longer–at last found homes and life outside a cage.

All potential adopters must meet ASAP’s standard adoption criteria, including homeownership verification or landlord approval. A driver’s license or other valid identification is required for all adoptions. Potential adopters are encouraged to visit ASAP prior to the event to check out the wide array of cats and kittens. Adopters can also expedite the adoption process by completing the homeowner verification and/or landlord approval process in advance.

ASAP’s Free Adoption Event is Saturday, August 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, August 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at 5473 Overpass Road in Goleta. For more information, call 805-683-3368 or visit


Montecito Pet Shop’s 27th anniversary event and fundriaser is Saturday, August 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 2020 Cliff Drive in Santa Barbara. RESQCATS will have their booth there with fleece kitty and doggy blankets, hand embroidered tea towels, and RESQCATS jewelry.

Adoptable Pet of the Week

Gogiberry is a gorgeous male orange and white kitty who is looking for his forever home. To meet Gogiberry and other available cats needing loving homes, visit ASAP at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter, 5473 Overpass Road. Hours are weekdays, 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call the ASAP office at 683-3368 or

Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP) is a volunteer-based, nonprofit 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.

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).

Lisa Acho Remorenko is executive director of Animal Adoption Solutions,


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