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Humane Society of Carroll County scratching out the cost of cat adoptions in July

Carroll County residents clawing to find low-cost options for adopting a cat have an easy way to do so this month.

Joining 21 other organizations across the state, the Humane Society of Carroll County is offering free cat adoptions. The program began Monday and runs through July 31. The shelter is taking part in Maryland 2,000, a three-year-old event with a goal of 2,000 adoptions across the state during “Kitten Season,” the late spring and summer months when many unspayed cats give birth to kitten litters.

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“It’s very necessary this time of year, because of the influx of cats and kittens that we have coming into the shelter,” said Michelle Fidler, HSCC’s director of animal care. “It kind of helps get that jumpstart to emptying the shelter to [allow for] space for everything we have coming in through the front door.”

There are no hidden costs. Felines up for adoption have received their core vaccines, and have been dewormed, microchipped, treated for fleas and spayed or neutered, Fidler said. It normally costs $50 to adopt an adult cat — one that is at least 6 months old — and those younger than 6 months are typically $75.

Carroll’s Humane Society has plenty of cats and kittens to choose from — there are about 50 felines at the shelter, weaving through cat condos and meandering around its visiting area. Each one has its own description on the shelter’s website, listing each cat’s age and some personality traits. There’s Laney, a shy tortoiseshell and white domestic shorthair cat who’s just over a year old. And Izzy, a social domestic shorthair cat that head butts for attention.

Food puzzle toys, like goody-stuffed Kongs or food dispensing toys, may be pleasant distractions for sound-sensitive dogs.

Standard adoption procedures — having a clean background check, being 21 or older and owning a home, or having a letter from the homeowner that you’re allowed to have a pet on the property — still apply, Fidler said.

For those who choose to bring home a furry friend this month, a slew of veterinary practices are also offering a free wellness exam, including the Carroll County Veterinary Clinic.

The Humane Society, which has participated in Maryland 2,000 in each year of the program’s existence, has seen a bump in its adoptions during the event in the past. Last year, adoptions spiked to 454 in July, up from 322 adoptions in June and 268 adoptions in May, according to Humane Society numbers. Participating shelters across Maryland exceeded the goal last year, bringing 2,590 cats and kittens home, according to an HSCC news release.

Fostering cats — another free option for taking care of a small feline — also remains important at this time of year. If there are young kittens at the shelter that aren’t of adoption age with all their medical procedures completed, for example, they take up space another cat that could be adopted might occupy, Fidler said.

“Fosters are like gold to us,” she said.

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Maryland 2,000 was created after four Baltimore-area shelters partnered with the Baltimore 500: A Race to Save Lives, another adoption event, to place 500 cats in good homes, according to a Maryland 2,000 document. The Baltimore Animal Welfare Alliance later expanded the event to include shelters across Maryland, since they also struggled to place cats and kittens, the document read.

With so many participating shelters, the event has a sizable effect on the homeless cat population in the state, Fidler said.

“That’s huge,” she said. “It’s one of the times that we all come together to work at the same goal.”

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