Beginning Oct. 1 and continuing through the month, Northwoods will be adopting out cats to caring and loving homes as always, but they will be free. The idea is designed to help decrease the amount of time the cats spend in the shelter environment and move them into their new homes. Another hope is that this will also allow more cats to be taken in; currently Northwoods is full of felines. Adoptions have been down this year compared to past years; currently 366 felines have been adopted in 2013, compared to last year at 589 feline adoptions.
This isn’t the first time an animal shelter has used this adoption approach; an article called “Free to a Good Home” in the latest “Animal Sheltering” magazine, led Northwoods’ Executive Director, Brenda Farr Zelinka, to approach the Northwoods Board of Directors with this idea: “People are getting their cats from each other or they find a stray cat outside at the gas station or grocery store, and they bring them home into their lives. It makes sense to start with what’s working and give [those same people] the same opportunity here.”
Currently, there are 23 cats that will qualify for the “free to a good home” project; some have been waiting since May for their new family. The cats that qualify for a waived adoption fee are those cats that are at least two years of age. Cats under two years of age and all dogs are still available for adoption at the low adoption rates Northwoods has always had. As the community animal shelter is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, those adopters who want to make a donation in lieu of a cat’s adoption fee can still do so and will be provided a receipt for their tax-deductible donation.
“Give a shelter cat a second chance. Not only will you be saving a life, you will be saving valuable money,” board member Ann McLellan said.
All pets adopted from Northwoods have already been spayed or neutered, de-wormed, vaccinated for distemper, will have been treated for fleas and ear mites if needed, and will have had a physical exam. In addition, adopters will know what the personality of the cat is from the people who interact with the cats at the shelter and will know if the cat is good with children, with other cats, with dogs, is shy, or is playful. All of this is included in the adoption.
“People might think that adopters won’t care for the cat or love the cat the same way if they don’t pay for them, but there’s nothing about paying for an animal that changes the way their heart beats. Love is love,” Assistant to the Executive Director, Charlotte Ihrke said.
For more information about the adoption promotion or how to support Northwoods, visit http://www.northwoodshs.org, call 651-982-0240, or visit the shelter on Facebook at www.facebook.com/northwoodshs.
Adoption hours: Monday to Friday: 1 to 6 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday: noon to 4 p.m. Northwoods’ mailing address is 7153 Lake Blvd. P.O. Box 264 Wyoming, MN 55092.