JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — If you’re looking for the “purr-fect” companion, the Washington County, Tennessee Animal Shelter wants you to stop by during their Cat-A-Thon this month.
There are more than 250 cats and kittens in their care right now, according to Director Tammy Davis. Not all of those cats are up for adoption; some are in the kitten nursery and are too young for adoption while others are in foster homes.
Not only is it kitten season, but they have seen a huge increase in the number of animals that have entered the shelter this year compared to the last year according to Davis.
Davis said she isn’t sure why they have seen such a large increase but believes it may be due in part to the pandemic. She said it may be that people adopted animals while they were at home more often, but as they’ve gone back to work, they feel they don’t have time to take care of the animal.
She is encouraging people to not just consider adopting kittens, but to keep adult cats in mind, too. When you meet an older cat at the shelter, you’ll be able to see their personality — whether they’re chatty, playful or calm. Davis said there are other benefits to adopting teenaged and adult cats as well.
“Adopting an adult cat, they tend to be a little more calm,” said Davis. “They may be less likely to climb your curtains, jump on the counter, and things like that.”
However, no matter the age of the cat, she wants people to remember that it is a lifelong commitment and that you need to prepare accordingly. Not just with the necessities like food and water bowls, and litter boxes, but ways to keep your cat entertained.
“We cannot emphasize enough having scratching posts throughout your house,” said Davis. “Having somewhere high up because cats like to be up high. Give them a place where they can feel comfortable looking out the window. They’re less likely to jump up on your countertop if they have places in the high they can get up high.”
During the Cat-A-Thon adult cats can be adopted for $15 and kittens for $30. That fee covers spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchipping.
While they’re waiting for the cats to be adopted out, it takes a lot to care for all of the animals, so they’re asking for donations.
Davis said they clean the kennels daily. They’re asking for laundry detergent, dish detergent and other cleaning products. Supplies can be dropped off at the shelter or bought from the shelter’s Amazon Wish List.
It’s not just cats that are filling the shelter; there are also more than 85 dogs that need to be adopted. That adoption fee is $35.
They do have some requirements for adoption, especially if you already have another dog in your home.
“One of the things that we encourage and require is that you bring that dog down so if you find a dog here that you want to adopt, we can see how they interact,” said Davis. ” You want to dog-proof your house; if you have a fence, you want to make sure your fence is secure, and just go ahead and get all the supplies you need to make a happy home for them.”
Getting the animals adopted out is crucial to creating space in the shelter for more animals in need. The shelter needs empty kennels available to intake the additional dozens of animals they expect in the coming weeks.
If you find a stray or need to surrender your pet, Davis said to call the shelter first because there are several steps they will walk you through. For animals that are thought to stray, she said stop and think first.
If the animal, especially cats, seems well cared for and friendly to humans, it’s likely not a stray and just a wandering pet doing its own thing. As for surrenders, Davis said that can only be done by appointment because they need to ensure that they have space for the animal.
If you want more information on the Cat-A-Thon or ways you can help the shelter, click here.