JAMESTOWN - Dealing and coping with unwanted cats is directly connected to one specific aspect in the current feline care environment for our community- waiting. As of early July the Chautauqua County Humane Society (CCHS) logged 138 cats and 44 litters of kittens on its waiting list to be received into the shelter for adoption/foster preparations.
The low income spay/neuter clinic at CCHS is currently booked through the end of September, adding to the climate of waiting during the height of the breeding season. These issues frustrate residents who are looking for a permanent way to move beyond dealing with unwanted and often unsolicited cat responsibilities. This holding pattern of waiting for solutions becomes further complicated because breeding often continues unchecked while waiting.
Long wait lists for cat and kitten litter surrenders and low income spay/neuter clinic opportunities is an important and central issue to CCHS and our community. According to Sue Bloom, CCHS shelter manager, "We are one of the few organizations taking in cats in Chautauqua County and unfortunately we do have limits. People get upset when they can't surrender a cat to us on-the-spot. We want the community to understand that the decision-making process is always a delicate balance of many factors and often it does not make sense when viewing it in isolation."
As of early July the Chautauqua County Humane Society (CCHS) logged 138 cats and 44 litters of kittens on its waiting list to be received into the shelter for adoption/foster preparations.
"To provide just one of many examples, finding a foster home for a mother and kittens until they are old enough to be prepared for adoption can free up a cage for a cat that is ready now," Bloom added. "Once that cat is adopted, the kittens that have aged enough to be vaccinated and spayed/neutered can move in for adoption preps. But finding the foster home and an adopter takes time and that usually means waiting. Ideally, more adoptions and foster options would speed up the process because cages would turn around more quickly."
According to Jeff Lubi, CCHS executive director, "Extenuating situations such as the Pine Street problem last month can suddenly change the flow of the waiting list. In that case the shelter stepped up to come to the aid of the community because if there is a specific problem we always try to develop strategies."
"We have limited resources and finances and we work really hard to make sure we remain flexible and fluid when we are dealt a curve ball," Lubi stressed. "This is what we are and how we do it. We truly need the community to help and we are very grateful for all of the help we receive as we seek answers to difficult issues such as extended wait times."
The other part of the waiting scenario is the extended time frame for the low income spay/neuter clinic. Bloom emphasizes that people choose to do the responsible thing and call to set the appointment.
"Unfortunately not all scheduled commitments result in actual alterings. We want to emphasize how important it is to keep and follow through with the appointment," she said. "Otherwise the wait list extends out even further and the no-shows end up creating more babies, perpetuating the cycle. It is necessary to arm the public with knowledge. We feel arming our community with knowledge on this issue is crucial to shortening the wait times and our ability to help."
The Chautauqua County Humane Society is a non-profit that is not part of any government organization and its mission to care for animals by promoting adoptions, preventing cruelty and providing education relies solely on public support. For more information call The Strunk Road Adoption Center at 716-665-2209 or visit www.spcapets.com and Facebook.