Eighty-two cats and 25 kittens were adopted for free from the Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) and its satellite adoption centres on Friday, November 16th, 2012. In addition, 17 kittens were adopted for a fee of $99 each. The shelter was over flowing with felines having recently received hundreds of stray and abandoned cats; 606 cats last month alone.
In an effort to make space for more cats arriving daily, the shelter waived adoption fees for cats over four months of age on Friday, November 16th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. All felines came spayed or neutered with first shots and tattoos.
Several satellite adoption centres affiliated with the WHS also offered free cats. By late day, WHS employees were directing people to these locations. But when I called Best West Pet Foods, Pet Valu, PetSmart, and Petland after 4 p.m., they had run out of available cats, as well.
“Not all 606 cats were available for adoption on Friday. Some were sick, some were feral, some were in foster care and some were not old enough to be adopted,” said Aileen White, Director of Communications & Public Affairs at WHS.
Even D’Arcy’s A.R.C. (Animal Rescue Centre) experienced a successful day on Friday.
“We adopted seven kittens at $159 each and five cats at $80 that day. We never reduce adoption fees,” said D’Arcy Johnston happily.
I (the writer) commend the Winnipeg Humane Society for holding this event. Some people don’t. They say there is potential for problems to develop when people decide spontaneously to get a free cat as a novelty. They may grow bored of the animal or not be able to handle the time commitment or financial commitment in caring for and feeding it. The cat may be neglected, abandoned or end up back at the Humane Society.
White responds, “Very rarely do we have animals returned. The adoption process is rigorous and we spend time with each client to make sure that they are ready to adopt an animal. There are people who do have to change their minds about adoption because unforeseen circumstances arise after they bring their pet home but that does not happen any more frequently when there is no adoption fee compared to when there is.”
“You are always going to have advocates and opponents of adoption fee waiver day but, this is a wonderful event that gets cats into loving homes and that’s what matters most,” reveals White.
Before getting a cat, one should think about food and litter costs, regular vet visit costs, medical emergency costs, who will have time to play with and groom the cat, how will the cat get along with the members of the household and vice versa, who will clean the litter box, who will take care of the cat if you have to go out of town, etc.
Don’t get a cat just because it’s free, make an informed decision and be a responsible pet owner.