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Humane Society offers Sunday blitz to adopt healthy felines

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The Bartholomew County Humane Society wants to move 100 healthy cats into new homes in one day.

They are making it as easy as possible for potential new pet owners in what’s being described as the local society’s largest cat adoption event ever.

The Humane Society will waive most fees, except for a $20 adoption charge, at Sunday’s 100 in 1 Fabulous Feline Festival. Normally, a cat adoption would cost about $115.

For five hours beginning at 1 p.m., cats that have been spayed or neutered with up-to-date vaccinations and embedded microchip tags will be ready for new homes, said Jane Irwin, Bartholomew County Humane Society shelter manager.

There will be no waiting period for prospective owners.

The shelter has about 200 cats that are either at the shelter or in foster homes. Irwin said if all 100 cats are adopted, she could bring more cats as needed.

“We have plenty o’ kitties,” she laughed.

The event will be at the Athens Animal Clinic, 1505 N. Indianapolis Road, as construction work is continuing on the new Bartholomew County Humane Society building, Irwin said.

“Since this will be our last June in the current building, the thought was to really have a big, huge push,” she said.

Judy Venhaus, a secretary at Columbus East High School, adopted a cat about three years ago from the Humane Society.

Animals adopted from shelters are usually some of the best to have as pets, she said.

Venhaus’ cat had died, and a co-worker suggested the society might have a new one she would like.

“They found me one the next day,” she said, which a family had dropped off at the shelter.

Venhaus said the cat has been loving and happy to be in her home.

“They’re so appreciative and so loving,” she said.

Newborn kittens plentiful

The American Humane Association says spring is a time when thousands of newborn kittens are in need of homes.

June is Adopt-A-Cat-Month, associated with a boom in newborn kittens across the county, Irwin said.

“We started seeing more kittens back in early March, and we’re going to get more and more kittens,” she said. “We’re starting to see more and more (female cats) come in that are pregnant.”

Athens Animal Clinic veterinarian Dr. Brooke Finke Case, who is also on the Humane Society board, volunteered to spay 12 cats and neuter 24 cats at no charge a few weeks ago in preparation for the event. She said all of the cats deserve a chance to be adopted, and this event is one way to make that possible.

“All of these cats will be ready to walk out the door,” she said. “Typically, if you go to the Humane Society, there’s a waiting period. We’re going to have all of these cats ready so there won’t be that waiting period.”

Finding new homes for cats is usually more difficult than new homes for dogs, said Nicohl Birdwell Goodin, general manager of the city’s Animal Care Service.

“There’s so many more cats; and it seems like … for every 10 people that come in, eight are looking for dogs,” she said. “People tend to think of (cats) as more disposable. So if they get tired of having a house cat, they throw it out.”

Irwin said if an owner doesn’t drop a cat off in person, the shelter’s staff might not immediately know if it is pregnant.

And for each cat that has been at the shelter for 30 days, the cost of food, vaccinations and surgery will ring up a bill of about $190, she said.

Although the event isn’t a fundraiser, the Humane Society will accept donations to cover the costs such as advertising, vaccinations, take-home carriers and microchipping.

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