LARGO – Big, small, adult, young, calico, tiger, black, white, gray, orange, fluffy, sleek, snugly, independent and, of course, curious – all of these describe the wide variety of cats awaiting adoption at the SPCA of Pinellas County.
The shelter is overloaded with felines in need of homes. For the first time, all 110 cat cages at the SPCA are full.
It’s a catastrophic situation that can be remedied easily enough.
“We are asking the community to step up to the plate,” said Beth Lockwood, executive director of the SPCA. “The community demands excellence from us as a shelter. Adopt a cat and help out. That’s a fair exchange.”
Lockwood said that many people are directed to the SPCA due to limited admissions at some other area shelters. The reasons people give for turning their cats in to the shelter run the gamut from allergies to moving, but most commonly they are “time issues.” During the summer months, some people actually give up their pets because they are going on vacation and it’s easier than making arrangements for their care.
Some of the cats needing homes have been at the SPCA for several months. They range from 10 years old to kittens – and every age in between. Besides having whiskers, paws and plenty of purrs, all of them have one thing in common. They need homes as soon as possible.
Last year 5,400 SPCA animals were adopted. There is never a shortage of homeless animals, despite aggressive spay-neuter policies and educational programs implemented at the SPCA and other area shelters.
“Our goal is always to improve our adoption rate,” said Lockwood, who emphasizes the wide variety of feline friends they have on hand. “If someone comes here and can’t find a cat then they don’t really want a cat.”
Adoption fees are $25 for adult cats and $35 for kittens under one year. That bargain price includes spay or neuter, vaccines, county license tag, feline leukemia and feline AIDS tests, flea treatment, deworming and microchip and ear tattoo for identification.
Anyone who has pounced on the opportunity to adopt a cat would agree that the amount of love and entertainment cats provide is priceless.
The SPCA of Pinellas is at 9099 130th Ave. N. in Largo. Call 586-3591 or view the SPCA cats and dogs available for adoption at www.spcafl.org.