Bartholomew County Humane Society volunteers hit a record Sunday for the number of cats adopted in one day, as 61 found new homes.
On a normal day, three to five cats might be adopted, shelter manager Jane Irwin said. Before Sunday, the most cats adopted in one day was nine, which happened about a year ago, she said.
The society had hoped to find new owners for 100 cats during the 100 in 1 Fabulous Feline Festival at Athens Animal Clinic.
While that didn’t happen, the adoption of 61 cats was noticeable in that it freed up space at the animal shelter, Irwin said.
To encourage cat adoption, the humane society waived most fees, charging $20 to adopt a cat on Sunday. Normally, adopting a cat from the humane society costs about $115.
The offer drew people not only from Columbus, but others from Edinburgh, Greensburg, North Vernon, Seymour, Hope and Nashville also adopted cats, Irwin said.
Several became first-time cat owners.
“It really made us feel good that they took advantage of this program,” she said.
Adopted cats ranged in age from 8 months to about 7 years old.
The humane society doesn’t plan on having another one-day cat adoption event because Irwin said she hopes there isn’t the need for one.
The event was designed to spark new interest among area residents in adopting homeless pets, she said.
Bigger quarters ahead
The next big event for the humane society is a move to a larger facility at 4415 E. County Road 200S, which is under construction.
Paid for by donations, grants and fundraisers during the past 36 years, the 8,600-square-foot facility will have room for about 32 dogs, nine puppies or small dogs and about 30 cats, Irwin said. The humane society’s current shelter, at 4110 E. County Road 200S, is 2,400 square feet.
The new $1.5 million humane society building will offer new kennels for dogs and cats, a cat room, two isolation rooms for those looking to spend time with pets before adopting them, a surgical room, a pre-operation and treatment room and a community room, said Cheryl Zuckschwerdt, board member and volunteer with Bartholomew County Humane Society.
An open house will be scheduled once the facility is complete and all of the new equipment and animals have moved in. Irwin said she’s hopeful for a late July grand opening.