December 21, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
28°F
test

County animal rescue agencies have cats and kittens to spare

ELYRIA — Friendship Animal Protective League shelter is bursting at its seams with kittens and cats, and staff and volunteers are worried about finding homes for 365 felines.

The Friendship APL shows off some of the many cats and kittens available for adoption. (CT photo by Bruce Bishop.)

The Friendship APL shows off some of the many cats and kittens available for adoption. (CT photo by Bruce Bishop.)

They hope a reduction in the adoption price might get things moving.

“Every cage in our facility is full, so we have cats and kittens coming out of our ears,” said Greg Willey, the group’s executive director.

Kittens normally cost $40 to adopt, but will be discounted to $20 Thursday to Sunday, Willey said. Cats cost $10 to adopt, he said. For more information, call 322-4321.

The animals are neutered, have their shots and have been tested for feline leukemia. The shelter at 8303 Murray Ridge Road is open 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

A mild winter combined with an already-large feral cat population left the cat population multiplying, according to Willey and David McClelland, who helps operate 4 Pets Clinic, which offers low-cost spay-and-neuter services.

Both Willey and McClelland took part in Tuesday’s rescue of 20 cats and kittens from the Floral Court home of Annie Hallman in Elyria.

The scene was heartbreaking, they said.

There were feces and urine throughout the home, including on beds.

The body of a recently deceased kitten was found, along with some piles of fur and bones of undetermined origin, possibly of kittens or cats, Willey said.

There were several overflowing litter boxes but no fresh litter, and all of the animals had respiratory problems, McClelland said.

Willey said the APL will not charge Hallman, who was overwhelmed by the cats that originated from when she began caring for several cats that belonged to her late son.

“We want to reach out to these people,” Willey said.

Cats and kittens have also been in the minds of tender-hearted people after the June 10 shooting of five feral kittens in the backyard of a home in North Ridgeville by Humane Officer Barry Accorti.

Willey said the situation was regrettable. He said the APL has taken the opportunity to open a productive dialogue with North Ridgeville officials over more humane methods of dealing with feral cats.

Any homeowner or neighborhood facing a similar problem with feral cats may borrow “Have a Heart Traps” after leaving a small deposit with the APL, Willey said.

The APL has been spaying or neutering dozens of cats every Thursday to get them ready for adoption, Willey said.

McClelland’s group offers low-cost spaying and neutering at its facility at 38391 Chester Road. For more information on its services, which are available to the general public, call 934-5353 or visit 4PetsClinic.com.

McClelland said experts say each female cat can be expected to produce 10 kittens, so the organization has saved some 110,000 cats from being born by spaying or neutering some 11,000 cats over the past six years.

Neighbors often pool resources to come up with the $40 cost to spay or neuter a feral cat in their community, McClelland said.

The general public also is welcome to take advantage of the low-cost spay-and-neutering services, as well as other veterinarian services, he said.

“I have people who can barely afford the $40 cost of neutering,” McClelland said.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.