Shelter crowded by crazy number of cats, kittens

Several of the many cats awaiting adoption at Friday Harbor Animal Shelter.   - Contributed photo
Several of the many cats awaiting adoption at Friday Harbor Animal Shelter.
— image credit: Contributed photo

By Jan Murphy, Special to the Journal

If you’ve stopped by the animal shelter in the last few weeks, you’ve probably noticed something… lots and lots of cats.

Cats in the lobby, cats in the hallway, cats in the isolation areas… even cats in the restroom.

So, for a limited time only, the Friday Harbor Animal Shelter is offering a cat and kitten adoption special. From now until Dec. 20, pending approval, the adoption fee for cats and kittens is only $20.

Although it’s not unusual to see a lot of wonderful cats at the shelter, it is unusual to have so many cats there at one time. Shelter Manager Leslie Byron says, “Cat adoptions tend to slow down a bit during the winter months, and this year in addition to the decrease in adoptions we are seeing a much larger number of cats and kittens being relinquished to the shelter.”

Many of the cats recently brought to the shelter were strays brought in by concerned islanders, and some have come to the shelter because their owners could no longer care for them. In the last two months, three pregnant cats arrived at the shelter, resulting in over one dozen kittens also needing homes. Many of the cats at the shelter have been there for over two years waiting for a home to call their own.

The Shelter's Rina Tappan says, “often the nicest cats here are the ones who continue to be overlooked.”

Black cats, in particular, are slow to be adopted. Nationwide studies show that black cats have the lowest adoption rates, as well as the highest euthanasia rates. Whether because of superstition, prejudice, or simply because they blend into the shadows, black cats are statistically less likely to be adopted than more brightly colored felines.

“Most of the black cats we have seen here have the most wonderful, and loving personalities”, Tappan says.

Stop by the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor, 111 Shelter Road, to meet some of the many adoptable cats there or visit the APS website, for more information.


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