Editorial: July is the time to adopt a cat, kitten in Maryland

Multiple shelters across Maryland, including the Humane Society of Carroll County and the Baltimore Humane Society just over the county line in Reisterstown, are participating in an effort known as the Maryland 2,000 Saving Lives Across Maryland adoption event this month.

Throughout July, these shelters will be waiving adoption fees for cats and kittens with the goal of placing 2,000 felines in forever homes.


The timing is no coincidence. July marks the height of kitten season, which typically runs from late spring through fall, when female cats give birth to their litters. Shelters can become inundated and overburdened by the number of cats in their care.

Last year, the first for the statewide adoption initiative, homes were found for 2,395 cats and kittens, according to the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

In the month of July, the Maryland SPCA along with multiple shelters across Maryland — including the Humane Society of Carroll County — will waive adoption fees for cats for the goal of finding homes for at least 2,000 cats and kittens across the state.

The Carroll shelter may take in between a dozen to 15 kittens per week during kitten season. Sometimes, kittens are dropped off after a family pet gives birth to a litter that is too large for the owner to handle. Others may be feral kittens, which can be a big problem in a rural community like Carroll, where large tracts of land can make it tough to track down feral cats.

Promotions like this can help to keep space free at the Humane Society, allowing them to take in more animals who need temporary housing.

Fostering is also an option for families that may want to help. For various reasons, some kittens may come to the shelter underweight or sick, and being in a foster home is better for their overall health than being in a shelter. Being in a foster home and being handled one-on-one versus spending time in a cage in a shelter can reduce the animal’s stress level, which also can help improve their immune system.

Not every animal lover has room for another pet, and that’s OK. One other way to help control the pet population is to have your pet spayed or neutered. By doing so, you can prevent unwanted litters that may end up in shelters and, ultimately, be euthanized. This may also protect against serious health problems in both male and female animals, including certain types of cancers.

The Humane Society of Carroll County lists a number of clinics in the area performing those services on its website, and the Baltimore Humane Society offers low-cost options for pet owners.

For more information about adoption, visit www.hscarroll.org or www.bmorehumane.org to browse adoptable pets and learn more about the Maryland 2,000 promotion.