July 27, 2013 - 5:00 AM
"WE DON'T HAVE ENDLESS SPACE OR RESOURCES"
VERNON - The Vernon SPCA is at full capacity, and a promotion advertising cats at half-price hasn't done much to vacate space.
A full house is nothing new, especially at this time of year.
"It's kitten season, so we're way above average right now," branch manager Corinne Ross says, adding the promotion is intended to coincide with the annual surplus. "We have approximately 50 kittens and 30 adult cats at the moment."
The province-wide promotion is meant to provide an incentive for people who have thought through their decision to adopt a cat and are just waiting for the right time.
Despite being stuffed to the brim with felines, Ross says they often make room for more. It's hard, she says, to refuse a litter of newborn kittens knowing their alternative might be unforgiving streets or the predator-ridden countryside.
The SPCA has to be mindful of taking in too many cats, because the more they get, the harder it is to provide individual care to all of them.
"The more animals we have, the less care we can provide," Ross says. "If we have 100 cats we can't give them all one on one time. We don't have endless space or resources." Ross says.
It was hoped the discounted fee, which is offered until July 31, would have had more of an effect. The promotion did successfully move one longtime resident, though.
"Through the event we got our longest resident, Panda, adopted. She'd been here for almost six months," Ross says.
Typically, the turnover rate for cats is about a month, though it varies. Ross says it's especially hard to find homes for black cats.
"We tell people, black cats go with everything," Ross says, smiling and snuggling with a licorice-coloured kitten.
When you buy your $105 adult cat or $130 kitten, you know he or she has been vaccinated, dewormed, spayed or neutered, has an identification tattoo and has received medical attention in addition to daily care. Ross says they also come with a free vet check, six months pet insurance and a complimentary bag of food.
What some prospective cat owners might not know, is that the SPCA will not sell you a cat if it is intended as an outdoor-only pet.
"They have to at least be indoor/outdoor. Ideally, indoor only," she says, explaining there's too high a risk of the cat being killed by a predator. "We had someone who just wanted a mouser, and we said no."
While the shelter might not have outdoor only mousers, they certainly seem to have every other kind, from tabbies, to calicos, to three-legged ones.
"Colonel Meow just had surgery to remove one of his legs," Ross says. "He's a wonderful cat, very loving."
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at email@example.com, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
Branch manager Corinne Ross plays with Colonel Meow, who just had his front left leg amputated and is healing marvelously.
(CHARLOTTE HELSTON /InfoTel Multimedia)
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013