Happy June, everyone! While you are probably excited to spend your weekends at the lake and hit every festival at Headwaters Park, I am happy to celebrate Adopt a Cat Month with the Allen County SPCA! I know we all see those heart wrenching ASPCA commercials with Sarah McLaughlin and just want to turn the channel because we think malnourished animals and the world’s lack of good pet care just isn’t our problem, but trust me, you want it to be. Just one day at a shelter can melt even the coldest heart. Owning a pet isn’t like listening like listening to “In the Arms of an Angel” on repeat. I would compare it more to “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake. Pet ownership, especially owning a cat when they are chasing a laser pointer on you feet, is incredibly rewarding and entertaining.
As a lifetime cat owner and current cat mom of shelter kitties Jacob (from the Marshall County Humane Society and pictured below) and Amber (from the Howard County Humane Society and pictured below), I can tell you countless stories of how my cats have saved me more than I saved them. Whether they are making me laugh when I am sad or cuddling me when I am sick, the unconditional love that you get from a cat is one that can’t compare to any other feeling on earth. That being said, the Allen County SPCA has some paws-itivly amazing reasons to adopt a shelter cat right now, just in time for Adopt a Cat Month!
You just can’t say no to faces like this!
Meet Alannis. This beautiful calico is our featured resident at the Allen County SPCA. Not only is she adorable and extremely photogenic, but she is very much in need of a fur-ever home! If you are interested in Alannis, visit the ASPCA’s website or visit them in person at 4914 Hanna St, Fort Wayne, IN 46806. I had the chance to see Alannis in person and I had to fight my urges to hand them my debit card and take her home. Even with a flamepoint (red point) Siamese named Doctor Stud in residence (just like my Jacob), I really believe that Alannis is just the prettiest face around.
The Allen County SPCA is currently participating in the Jackson Galaxy Cat Pawsitive project!
You may be wondering what does that mean and who is Jackson Galaxy? First off, Jackson Galaxy is a popular cat behaviorist best known for his TV show My Cat From Hell on the Animal Planet. In order to help cats become more adoptable and feel more comfortable in a shelter environment, Galaxy has worked with shelters across the country, including our own, to use positive reinforcement training to make cats more sociable and teach them tricks such as high fives. These cats are more likely to come out and engage with potential adopters and volunteers because of this training. And who doesn’t want a talented and friendly cat?
So how do they do this? Clicker training is used as a positive reinforcement tool for the animals. When they hear the clicker, they receive a treat. In order to hear the clicker and get a treat, they perform a trick such as a high five. It is as simple as that! Cats know that people, any person, could be there to give them a treat, so they are happy to give high fives.
Saving cats is a huge priority!
A majority of the cats from the Allen County SPCA actually come from Animal Care and Control. By spaying and neutering and adopting cats, the SPCA helps to reduce a fast growing population. Cats can start reproducing at around 3 months old so taking them in and fixing them is a huge step to getting every cat adopted.
They have a cat for everyone!
In my old and impatient age (my early thirties), I appreciate my lazy older cats. My sister, however, can’t bring enough kittens into her home. At the Allen County SPCA, you can find kittens and cats of all ages. They have two cat colonies of approximately 10 cats with the older and more sociable cats. Age for cats is also relative. While you may think age 10 qualifies as old, being only one year old officially takes a cat off of the kitten list. Kittens are housed in privately with a plexiglass wall so they are safe from injury and germs, but still easy to admire. The Allen County SPCA does not currently have room for new kittens right now.
Fostering is saving lives!
Kittens, just like newborn human babies, do not have strong enough immune systems to live in a shelter environment. Many staff members and volunteers help take in these kittens and expectant mothers and give them a safe place to be together while they build their immune system, nurse and grow to an adoptable age where they can be spayed or neutered. My cat, Amber (the pretty tortie you saw earlier in this article), came from a fostering environment through a volunteer at the Kokomo Humane Society. After she had kittens at 10 months old, she and her kittens were all adopted once her babies were able to survive on their own.
Because we all have our favorite kind of cat…
The popular phrase in shelters is “adopt, don’t shop”. Well, many of us who adopt still go in with a certain breed in mind. Admittedly, I was one of those with both of my cats. I had definite preferences to flamepoint (red point) Siamese cats and tortoise shell cats due to cats I had as a child and very young adult. The beautiful thing about shelters is that they have a variety of breeds. Not every cat is a standard calico. In my visit, I saw a beautiful smoky grey cat, a few calicos, a flamepoint Siamese, a few orange tabbys and one that looked a little like a tortie. I asked shelter officials if any breed is more popular that others, and just like me, people tend to prefer Siamese mixes.
The Allen County SPCA took in 1,400 cats this past year
The cat intake numbers are increasing which is great because that means adoptions are increasing. Thanks to the Cat Pawsitive program, cats are coming in, learning life and social skills and leaving to more permanent homes because they aren’t bring along behavioral problems. Many people come in and pick the cutest feline and don’t consider that each animal has a unique personality.
How Do You Adopt a Best Friend and Fur Baby?
It is easy to adopt a cat!
- You must be 21 years of age or older to adopt from the Allen County SPCA. If you have a cat(s) or dog(s) living in your home already, a maximum of one pet can be unaltered. The other pets must be neutered or spayed. All cats and dogs in your home must be current on rabies vaccination.
- Fill out a pre-adoption survey here!
- Visit with the potential pet at the Allen County SPCA or at a Pet Smart location.
- Fill out you application and pay your fees (cats have a pick your fee program)