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Busting shelter overcrowding myths
Summertime is a rush at Kitsap Humane Society. It’s the busiest season for the shelter thanks to the flood of felines we typically take in this time of year.
During June, July and August of 2011, we provided shelter and care for more than 750 homeless cats and kittens! This number topped the amount of felines we took in over the first five months of the year. And this summer, we expect our cat population to be even higher.
Our intake numbers are already up 23 percent for cats and 60 percent for kittens. But running adoption specials helps keep our feline population manageable, safe and healthy. Just last weekend we held a Feline Frenzy event, during which we waived adoption feed for all cats over 1 year old. In three days we rehomed more than 40 cats!
Even amid the “frenzy,” we continued our rigorous adoption screening process. We’re confident these felines found their forever homes. So we plan to continue offering similar adoption specials in an effort to keep our cat census in check. We welcome you to stop by the shelter during Feline Fridays when adoption fees for adult cats are waived or Meow Madness (any other day the shelter is open) when adoption fees are half-price for adult cats – for a limited time only!
As we’ve advertised these specials, members of the public have raised some questions about fee-waived adoptions. So we would like to take the opportunity to dispel some of the myths surrounding adoption specials.
Myth: Offering fee-waived adoptions or “free” cats increases the odds animals will go to unsuitable homes.
Fact: Studies have shown that “eliminating adoption fees does not devalue the animals in the eyes of the adopter.” The price an adopter pays for a cat does not determine how well it is cared for and loved. By offering fee-waived or reduced adoption fees when the cat population at the shelter is high, we’re able remain competitive with other sources people use to obtain pets. After all, many people find cats as strays or acquire them on online or through friends.
Myth: Shelter overcrowding leads to a higher euthanasia rate.
Fact: Not at Kitsap Humane Society. We have steadily maintained a 6 percent euthanasia rate, as there are many reasons why euthanasia may be the most humane option for an animal. These circumstances can include medical and behavioral issues that cannot be treated in a shelter environment. Per our policy, euthanasia because of lack of space is not an acceptable option.
Myth: KHS charges a fee for surrendering an animal.
Fact: Kitsap Humane Society is an open admission shelter, which means we will take in any homeless, unwanted animals for any reason. We do not charge a fee for surrendering an animal if you live in Kitsap County. At the time of surrender, we do ask for (and greatly appreciate) a donation that will help us care for your pet. On average, it costs us $30 a day to care for each and every animal housed at the shelter. Your donations help us to continue to provide great care.