Here's a Tuesday tongue twister for you: How many cats could a chatty chimp count if a chatty chimp could count cats? If there happened to be a chatty counting chimp in the SPCA Albrecht Center's shelter, he'd count a total of 112 cats right now.
There are 52 cats and kittens available for adoption as of today, and 60 more in holding, waiting to be vaccinated, spayed or neutered and placed on the adoption floor. More will arrive tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
Why so many? Where do they keep coming from? Well, I'll tell you. A pair of unaltered cats and their litters can produce nearly 400,000 cats in just seven years. Thousands of cats, each of them special, unique, with their own distinct personality and, some believe, their own individual soul.
Homeless cats and dogs are everywhere. In every town, in every state, and in every country. There are so many homeless pets that animal shelters simply do not have the space or resources to help them all. And there are never enough homes. Even if every home in our country adopted a pet, there would still be millions more in need of a home.
Fortunately, there is an easy and effective solution to this heartbreaking problem. Spaying and neutering pets prevents unwanted litters, which means fewer pets on the streets and fewer pets facing a miserable life as a stray, or facing euthanasia in an overcrowded shelter.
Our Veterinary Care Center makes it affordable and easy to have pets spayed or neutered, as well as offering complete veterinary care including exams, x-rays, medical emergencies, surgical procedures and dental care. The Center is open Tuesday - Friday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm for walk-ins, and Saturdays 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. Spay/neuter surgeries are scheduled Tuesday - Friday. Call them today at 803-648-6863 to make your appointment for this week!
Now let's get back to counting those 112 homeless cats already in our shelter. They need homes! Only you can help with that, and we're running a couple of adoption specials right now to help make it even more affordable for you to open your heart and your home to a new feline friend.
First, all of our black cats and kittens are available for just a $25 adoption fee. Spay/neuter surgery, current vaccinations and a microchip included. Did you know that black cats are adopted half as often as cats of other colors? It's true, and sad, because despite their dark fur, they have very colorful personalities and are truly loving companions.
Second, all of our long-term resident cats are available for a $0 adoption fee. That's right, zero, no counting needed. Don't worry, adoption of these cats is still subject to application approval and our careful screening process. Hopefully though, the waived adoption fee will open up the possibility of adoption to even more people. Spay/neuter surgery, current vaccinations and a microchip are all included with that $0 fee.
What exactly makes a cat a "long-term resident"? Let's do some more counting, this time we'll count the days. For this promotion, we're considering "long-term" to be any cat who's been in our shelter for 100 days or more. We have 12 cats that fit into that category.
At the top of the list is Emma. She's been in our care for 620 days. Six hundred and twenty days! Emma's only 3 years old so that means she's been with us for the majority of her life. Before that, who knows? Living a life on the street probably. She's mellow and can be quite affectionate once she gets to know you.
Then there is Bouncer, here for 412 days since he was a kitten and Amathyst and Garnet who arrived together as kittens, after being found by a caring citizen. They've been with us for 358 days, pretty much their whole lives too.
There are plenty more long-term residents, ranging from 102 days to 240 days in our shelter. All of them needing homes and all available right now for a $0 adoption fee.
Outside of the black cats and the long-term residents, we have plenty of adult cats and kittens also available. Dogs, too! Each one needs a loving, forever home. Come see them all, and count them if you like, at 199 Willow Run Road, in Aiken. More information about adoption and photos of some of our adoptable pets are available on our website: www.LetLoveLive.org.
Sarah Neikam is the Marketing Director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the SPCA since 2012. Sarah lives in Graniteville with her husband, Tom, mother, Cheryl and three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady.