By Claudia Yaw / [email protected]
The Lewis County animal shelter is inundated with cats and kittens – likely the product of unsterilized pandemic pets – and authorities are encouraging those considering adoption to come in and meet a potential furry friend.
At the same time last year, the shelter housed 88 cats and 113 kittens. Now those numbers are almost double: 184 cats and 205 kittens.
Many of these are likely the offspring of felines purchased during the original COVID-19 closures last year. Back then, neutering and neutering new animals was considerably more difficult.
And with these new pet owners returning to work and semi-normal lives, “these cats are no longer the center of the family and they roam more,” said Jennifer Teitzel, director of the shelter.
The shelter is also seeing a significant increase in the number of domestic rabbits found to be stray – 14 in total this year – also likely the proceeds of pandemic-era purchases.
Some cats have also been returned to the shelter after pet owners were forced to go through more difficult situations during the pandemic. However, with limited space, the shelter has turned away some owners, favoring stray cats over those with houses.
Even with clinics starting To lift restrictions, having animals spayed or neutered locally is always a challenge, as demand is high.
“They are extremely late,” Teitzel told The Chronicle.
Some clinics, including Cascade West Veterinary Hospital in Centralia, have stopped taking new small animal clients. In a Facebook post last month, the veterinary hospital cited increased demand for appointments.
Northwestern Tacoma’s sterilization and sterilization center may be a good option, but with its shuttle services suspended, Teitzel said, that means owners are on a long drive. She understands why people don’t want to make the trip.
“It is very unfortunate the consequences that this has, however,” she said.
Fortunately, the space restrictions did not result in any euthanasia. The drop in the shelter’s euthanasia rate is something public health officials have highlighted this year. Teitzel said on Tuesday the rate is now below 6%, all of which are either court-ordered or medically necessary.
The shelter manages limited space by coordinating with other rescues or shelters in communities that have different demands.
Some places, for example, may have a high demand for barn cats. In Lewis County, Tietzel said, there is a “very high demand for Siamese or any sort of oddity, such as the lynx.”
Exchanges can increase the likelihood of adopting animals.
Overall, Teitzel said the shelter is fortunate that locals understand the importance of adoption.
The shelter is seeking donated supplies, including food, laundry soap and cleaning solutions, and encourages residents to come in to see which animals are available for adoption. The staff try to match the personality of the pets with the lifestyle of the owners.
The current fee for feline adoption is $ 60 for seniors, $ 75 for adults, and $ 100 for kittens.
Teitzel also said residents who notice a stray cat should contact the shelter.
“Because the sooner he gets off the streets, the sooner he can find his family. Or after the applicable suspension, it could be adopted, which means it could be sterilized or sterilized, ”she said. Letting cats roam unchecked “increases pregnancy rate.”