Stray cat population growing in Delaware

    Economic trouble could be the cause of an increase in stray and abandoned cats being taken in by animal shelters in Delaware.

    Animal shelters in the First State are reaching their limits on available space for unwanted or stray cats.  Last month, more than 750 cats were dropped off at the Kent County SPCA, and November is typically considered a slow month for drop offs.  The Kent facility is the only “open-access” shelter in Delaware so there are no felines that will be turned away, whether they are stray cats, or the owners can no longer care for them.

    “In the last year to 18 months we’re obviously seeing an increase in cats coming into shelters, and that’s all shelters,” says Kent County SPCA outreach manager Mary Ann D’Amato.  “We are dealing with, unfortunately, the highest euthanasia levels, either because cats are coming in ill, or because we’re just running out of space to be able to house them.”  She blames the economic downturn for the increase in pet abandonment.  “A lot of this has to do with the economy.  People losing their homes or down-scaling and leaving animals behind, or putting cats out into the environment thinking they can fend for themselves.”

    Through the month of December the Kent SPCA is offering special deals to get more cats placed in homes.  Cats that are over five years old can be adopted for just $25, compared to $90 for younger cats or kittens that weren’t spayed or neutered before entering the shelter.  Go to the SPCA’s website to find more information on how you can adopt a pet or donate to help the shelter deal with the surging stray cat population.

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