By Mo Cranker on January 13, 2017.
The Medicine Hat SPCA has begun the new year with a feline crisis.
Though the shelter has just 12 cats listed on its website as available to adopt, it is housing more than 100 according to executive director Katie Ayres.
To combat the large number of cats under SPCA care, Ayres says they will be holding a two-week event, where anyone adopting a cat will get the opportunity to spin the Feline Wheel of Fortune, which features adoption incentives.
“We currently have about 100 cats living in our shelter â€” 50 or 60 is about tops for what we would like to have,” she said. “We are doing this to offer an added bonus or incentive to those people that are considering adoption.”
People who spin the wheel can win things like a collar, money off the donation fee, or even a free adoption.
Though they do not like to do incentive-based adoptions, Ayres says it’s something they need to do to make more space.
“Right now we’re using up every bit of extra kennel space we have,” she said. “We try to avoid doing this type of thing, but we really need to create space for the animals that need it â€” we’re really hurting for space.”
The lack of space has began impacting the cats says Ayres, with a large amount becoming sick.
“Once you start having this many cats, you start seeing sicknesses,” she said. “The cats get very stressed, they don’t like being around this many animals and this much noise â€” so you start to see more upper-respiratory and other cat illnesses.”
Ayres says the cat problem has continued to get worse, with people dropping their cats off at the SPCA with no information but a name, which means the shelter has to run a quarantine process on them.
“When we know nothing about a pet, we have to play it safe,” she said. “We have to quarantine the cats, which means we can’t put them out for adoption for weeks, which partly is where the build-up comes from.”
“We don’t really know why we have so many cats, but I think some of it is due to the economy,” she said. “It’s sad to see this many pets to be disposable to families, but it is understandable because economics are an issue for a lot of people.”
The SPCA is not accepting any cat surrenders at this time due to the lack of space.
For more information on the event, got to the shelter’s website at, http://www.medhatspca.ca.
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