The new headquarters of the Humane Society of Harford County on Connolly Road in Fallston has too many cats. The Humane Society has so many cats it's giving them away free.
"We literally have nowhere left to put incoming cats," Cat Kelly, the Humane Society's director of shelter operations, said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. "Without adoptive families or rescue partners coming to adopt or take cats, some very difficult decisions will have to be made, and we do not want to do that."
The Cat Free Roam Rooms, according to the Humane Society's statement, are full. The Kitten Room is full, too. All the cages in the stray cat room are full. Rooms intended to be used as private Meet and Greet rooms have been set up as temporary cat living spaces. Everywhere in the Humane Society headquarters, the statement said, there are cats unaware that the shelter staff is literally racing to save their lives.
For the last several weekends, the Humane Society has waived the adoption fee on all its cats and kittens. The free offer has been extended indefinitely in order to place cats into loving, forever homes.
Since Oct 1, the Humane Society has taken in 102 cats. Oct. 10 is the day 24 more cats in need of food, love and care arrived at the shelter. While cat adoptions this month stand at 146, the shelter still has more than 300 cats in its care. There are 98 cats and kittens are in foster care. There are 21 are up for adoption in the shelter's satellite adoption centers, and 202 are in residence at the shelter.
Humane Society officials are urging those in the community to take action by adopting, spaying and neutering their pets, and microchipping pets – even if they never go outside. Of the 102 cats and kittens that have arrived at the shelter since Oct. 1, 81 were strays, and it is exceedingly rare that owners reclaim their cats, the statement said.
"We have a 2 percent return to owner rate for cats in Harford County," Executive Director Jen Swanson said in the release. "The national average is just 3-5 percent. Cats are highly territorial, and most domestic cats will seldom venture far from home. Usually – over 70 percent of the time - cats find their own way home and can avoid a trip to the local shelter."
"A cat can make a wonderful addition to a family," Kelly said. "Now is a great time to adopt a feline or two. We urge people to take advantage of the waived adoption fees and help save a life."
The Humane Society is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the welfare and well-being of the approximately 4,500 animals that arrive on its door step each year.