For those looking to bring home a four-legged furry friend, July is the month to do it.
In the month of July, the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals along with multiple shelters across Maryland — including the Humane Society of Carroll County — will waive adoption fees for cats with a goal of finding homes for at least 2,000 cats and kittens across the state.
This is the second time the event has been held statewide, according to the Maryland SPCA. Last year, the initiative helped find homes for 2,395 cats and kittens.
Michelle Fidler, director of animal care at Carroll’s Humane Society, said animals are a great addition to people’s lives, because they’re excited to see you even if you’ve had a bad day. Animals can change your mood instantly, she said
“They’re always happy to see you when you come home from work,” she said, later adding, “It’s very rewarding to know you took a homeless pet in, and they love you for that and they show you they love you for that.”
Fidler said this event increases the number of adoptions, not just in Carroll but other shelters across the state as well.
The Humane Society of Carroll County has partnerships with Petsmarts throughout Maryland, and because of that, Carroll is able to help out other shelters in the state. Fidler said during this portion, Carroll’s need to help others is less.
“It does have a big impact on the number of cats finding homes,” she said.
This promotion goes on in July because it’s kitten season, Fidler said, but programs like the trap, neuter and release program helps to keep the number of kittens down from previous years. Still, she said, the Humane Society is taking in 12 to 15 kittens a week at the height of kitten season.
“In this area, I think you will always have a problem with that. It is a rural area, there are cats out there that are difficult to get your hands on,” she added.
For those who can’t permanently bring a kitten home, Fidler said the Humane Society’s fostering program also plays a key role in helping during kitten season.
Fidler said they don’t want kittens coming into the shelter and staying there — it’s better for them to be in a foster home, because it’s better for their social and emotional health.
When a kitten comes to the shelter, she said, many of them are too young to be spayed and neutered, or are too sick. They are also very prone to upper respiratory infections and the stress of a shelter can weaken their immune system, making them even more prone to getting sick.
“Having a foster home to get those kittens out of the shelter, is reducing the stress level for them and therefore it’s just helping their immune system,” she said. “It’s also helping their social skills because they’re getting handled more on a one on one and a daily basis as opposed to just being caged.”