Nfld. & Labrador

'Kitten season' sparks adoption sale at overflowing St. John's shelter

The St. John's Humane Services shelter is offering up cats at half price for August, as it tries to deal with an overwhelming number of felines.

All cats and kittens half price for the rest of the month

All cats can be adopted at half price for the month of August, as the shelter deals with its overcapacity problem. (CBC)

An animal shelter in St. John's is overcapacity and hopes a summer adoption sale could help deal with the dozens of extra cats crowding its cages.

"Cats start breeding in the spring, so we get a lot of kittens coming in because people aren't spaying or neutering their pets on a timely basis. So it's really kitten season," said Cindy McGrath, the manager at the St. John's Humane Services shelter.

McGrath said there are currently 75 cats and kittens in the shelter, which is 25 more than the shelter can comfortably accommodate. McGrath said that number is down from the 82 felines the shelter had at the beginning of the month.
'Krissy', a young female shorthair, is just one of the 75 cats at the St. John's shelter looking for a home. (City of St. John's)

And all those cats mean a lot of extra hours for the shelter staff and volunteers as they try to keep on top of feeding, veterinary checks and disinfection protocols.

"The rooms have to be completely sanitized — walls, floors, everything — so it's a lot of work to care for that many," McGrath told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.

Half off for August

In the hopes of easing the space crunch, the shelter has embarked on a summer sale, slashing adoption fees for cats from $120 to $60 for all of August. That fee still includes all the adoption perks such as vaccinations and a microchip.

"We're very hopeful. I guess the goal here is to adopt out more than what we're taking in," said McGrath, adding they have managed to adopt out 33 cats so far this month, but another 26 homeless cats have come through the shelter's doors.

Pictures of the adoptable animals are up on the City of St. John's website. People can also drop by the shelter. According to McGrath, the city offers a low-cost spay or neuter program for people in financial stress.

And if you have your heart set on a dog, perhaps it's time to reconsider: at the moment, the shelter only has one pup up for adoption.

With files from the St. John's Morning Show