Approximately 500 pets are sitting in Saskatchewan shelters waiting to be taken home.
At the Saskatoon SPCA, there are 30 cats currently on the adoption floor and more are waiting to be moved from the city pound that is bursting at the seams.
“It’s a problem we see year after year — our intake numbers really spike around spring and summer time so these adoption drives are necessary just to find happy homes for our cats,” Cathy Brin, public relations coordinator with the Saskatoon SPCA, said.
Right now, the SPCA is holding its Empty Our Shelters adoption event to help relieve the situation. Adoption fees are being waived for cats six months or older, while kittens are $150. The drive runs until Sunday and there’s a vetting process before anyone can adopt.
“You’re still going through the application process, and of course we’re always really looking to make lifelong matches at the shelter,” Brin said.
“We definitely want people to understand it’s a lifelong commitment — especially with a cat, you might be looking at a lifespan of 15-plus years, so it’s important to understand the commitment you’re getting yourself into.”
One common misconception the SPCA wants to clear up is that an animal has to be adopted within a few months up to two years of arriving at the shelter.
Brin says unlike places in United States that put down animals after a month to make room for others because their intake is so high, shelters here are fortunate in that staff can take the time to find a cat or dog a forever home, no matter how long that takes.
“It is still important to note how many animals we are seeing in the shelter, and it’s best if you can adopt as opposed to purchase an animal from a breeder, because it helps us reduce the animals coming into the shelter,” Brin added.
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The animals at the Saskatoon SPCA are either strays or were surrendered by their owners.
For Robynne St. Marie, that’s all the more reason these animals need to be rescued and welcomed into a loving home.
“I like adopting adult dogs because you know what you’re getting,” St. Marie said. “When you adopt a mixed-breed puppy, you don’t necessarily know how big they’re going to get, how much they’re going to shed, things like that. If you adopt an adult dog, you know their behaviour, their size, their eating habits.”
From time to time, an animal will need to be humanely euthanized for things like severe aggression or behavioural issues.
Officials said it’s a difficult decision they sometimes have to make if an animal is potentially a risk to other animals or small children.
Thankfully, the SPCA said it doesn’t happen very often and they’re happy to report that on average, 2,000 pets a year are placed in a happy home.