Cat crisis in Kingston: 177 cats cared for at the humane society
The Kingston Humane Society says it is overwhelmed with cats and kittens in its care, and is in need of more foster families to take them in.
According to executive director Gord Hunter, there are 177 cats in the society's care right now.
"Sadly we’ve seen 80 of them come in since the first of June."
That’s far above the 100 it has capacity to hold.
Natasha Bidinost, the foster care coordinator for the humane society, says it's not unusual to get a large influx of kittens this time of year. What is unusual is that with the amount of cats and kittens that currently need homes, it may be tough for many kittens to find their forever home.
"We do have a higher adoption rates with kittens but we do have some kittens on our website right now that have been there for a couple of weeks," she explains. "Which is unheard of in this area."
Bidinost says the reason there is so many is that there are more people surrendering their pets after the pandemic, and less people adopting.
Hunter also adds that many people are not able to spay and neuter their pets right now.
"There’s sometimes a two-month backlog to get into see your vet right now," explains Hunter.
The older the feline, the tougher it can also be to rehome.
Guido, a black and white 12-year-old cat, has been with the humane society for more than a year. He’s in need of eye care, which can be a barrier to full adoption.
"We definitely feel like its worth it, especially for animals like Guido that can end up being very healthy and do really well," explains Bidinost. "But it’s definitely something that we see these animals sit in our care for a lot longer."
To avoid having to turn any cats away, the Kingston Humane Society says foster care pet owners are needed immediately.
"(the cats are) much happier to be in a home environment than they are to be here, both emotionally and physically," says Bidinost.
In order to help encourage locals that might already be considering adopting a new furry friend, adult cat adoptions have been reduced for the remainder of June and all of July. For adult cats that have been at KHS for less than six months, the cost is reduced to $50, and for adult cats that have been there any longer, the cost is $25.
Despite the setbacks, Kingston Humane Society is still on track to open the city's first permanent, low-cost spay and neuter clinic before the end of summer. Hunter says they expect to be able to accept their first clients in August, starting small with 10 cats per day.
In January, City Council approved $62,000 in funding to supply Kingston Humane Society with additional surgical equipment needed to provide the much-needed program. Despite a few delays, most of the equipment has arrived and been installed. The remaining plans are well underway.
The humane society hoping to provide the perfect home, whether permanent or temporary.
With files from CFRA’s Sara Capeloa