Lee County nonprofit says shelters inundated with cats, need homes

Shelters in Lee County are dealing with an overabundance of furry friends in the area, and a nonprofit taking care of them says it needs help finding these potential pets new homes.

The Animal Refuge Center (ARC) in North Fort Myers said shelters are inundated with cats Sunday. Shelters are running out of room, and they need neighbors to give them homes.

One of the main causes for shelters for dealing with the large cat population is due to Hurricane Irma. The big storm left cats homeless. Now, hundreds of their kittens are without homes.

There are also less shelters in the area that can take them in.

“They just all need a home,” Julie Thompson said.

Even though Thompson adopted a cat recently, it’s the felines that won’t go home today she is worried about.

“Just come and look around you know,” Thompson said. “Let them pick you out.”

“One mother cat with her offspring can produce hundreds within just a couple of years,” said Monica Moloughney with Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County. “That’s why the population grows and grows and grows.”

Moloughney said even more kittens will be born during warmer months.

“It is what we call kitten season,” Moloughney said.

ARC said another reason for the spike in cats is some spay and neuter clinics in Lee County are closing. ARC leaders hope more low-cost clinics will come around.

“It helps keep the population down,” Moloughney said. “There’s less having to euthanize in other shelters healthier longer life expectancies.”

To keep the cats alive and safe, ARC is fundraising to build a unit that can house 80 cats.

In the meantime, those like Thompson are taking advantage of cat adoption specials many shelters are running throughout June.

Bonita Springs City Council recently highlighted the work of Animal Hospital of Bonita and Boarding that traps feral cats, spays and neuters them and then releases them. It helps stop disease and keeps the population down. The group said it has worked with over 1,500 feral cats.

Animal Welfare League in Charlotte County has cats for adoption for 425 for any cat over seven-months-old. They come spayed or neutered, microchipped, up to date on their inoculations and with a one-week, wellness visit. Kittens are $75.

For more information, visit the organization’s website.

Human Society of Naples is offering fee-waived adoptions for cats four months and older through June 30 and half-priced adoptions for kittens.

For more info., see its adopt a cat page.

 

 

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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