Everyone loves a sweet and adorable kitten or puppy. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, the reality is that shelters across America are overflowing year-round, and especially during “kitten season,” when shelters are about to overflow with fuzzy, precious bundles of kitten joy. Every year there are more cats and kittens that need homes than most of us can imagine, but it’s totally preventable. Neutering and neutering your cat is not only a good thing to do, it’s an absolute must. Volunteering at the shelter from spring to fall allows me to meet a prolific number of kittens and mother cats. Yes, they are all so sweet and adorable, but the truth is that many of them are sick, injured or extremely malnourished by the time they reach our care. We have waiting lists of concerned and caring people trying to find a safe place for cats and kittens, but we often don’t have space. It is terribly difficult to tell people that we are full, but it is our reality.
The facts about cat reproduction are surprising; Here’s the hard truth: a female cat can get pregnant at 4 months old. In her reproductive years, she can have one to eight kittens per litter, or two to three litters per year. Yes, she can produce over 100 kittens in her lifetime! Think about it. Let it penetrate. This is why it is imperative to sterilize all cats. There are many low cost sterilization options available in our area. Happy Paws Happy Homes, All Pets Veterinary Clinic, Center County PAWS, The Hundred Cat Foundation, and Pets Come First are places that offer cost-effective spay/neuter programs all a click away online. Some of these programs even offer spaying programs for feral cats, including information on how to catch kittens that are on the wilder side. The Huntingdon County Humane Society is also a great resource for directing you to affordable sterilization options.
Our feline friends aren’t the only ones who need sterilization services. As a volunteer who sees countless amazing dogs come into our shelter, it’s hard to hear someone say, “I wish she had a litter, she’s such a sweet dog” or “I wanted to get her treated. , but I’m so busy and now she has puppies. If the average person spent a month working in a shelter, the shocking truth of how many homeless dogs we have in local shelters would be painful. These dogs are those same adorable puppies born to dogs whose owners had big intentions but no follow through. Remember that canine pregnancy can be prevented with the same affordable programs offered for felines.
As for the “creature” part of the “feature”, this article represents all the unwanted, unloved, sick, homeless, abandoned cats and dogs everywhere who deserve to be honored. It’s not their fault if they don’t have a home, or if they’re sick or wild. People need to step up and take responsibility for their animals. HCHS staff and volunteers are dedicated to helping animals, but the odds are stacked against us. The sheer number of animals, especially kittens and mother cats, that we see each year is heartbreaking. Please do your part by neutering/neutering your pet. If you do not have any cats or dogs requiring neutering services, please reach out and support our shelter. We work hard to reduce pet overpopulation, while continuing to care for the many animals within our walls. Help us reduce the number of “kitten seasons” by doing your part!