(July 13, 2018) Summer brings more of everything into Worcester County, however, the people coming and going are leaving more behind than they are taking with them, at least in the feline world.
The Worcester County Humane Society is currently housing about 200 cats, which is just about capacity, Julie Wallace, registered veterinary technician at the no-kill shelter, said. The problem is, the cats are leaving at a much slower pace.
“In general, we see some influx during the summer months,” Wallace said. “But this time last year we had more interest in adoptions.”
Adopting a pet is not a choice to undertake lightly, and the humane society has some controls in place to ensure it’s not a snap decision.
“A person has to fill out an application with some basic information and we have to make certain they fit our criteria,” she said.
A person must be at least 21 years of age, either own their home or have the approval of the landlord to even get started.
“It seems obvious, but it doesn’t happen all the time,” Wallace said.
The humane society also needs time to check references and ensure landlords have actually granted permission.
Prospective pet parents must provide the shelter with two personal references and also get a note from a veterinarian before the adoption can proceed.
“We need to know they already had contact with a veterinarian,” she said.
Normally, this process takes about 48 hours, but can be longer depending on the day of the week. The humane society operates on a volunteer basis and is sustained by private donations, so adoption takes a day or two between application and completion.
Of the couple hundred felines currently housed at the shelter, about half are kittens and there are a couple of animals in custody that are currently pregnant, Wallace said.
“Fewer cats would be much better,” she said.
The cats at the shelter have been brought up to date on their immunizations, and if they are older than three months, have been spayed or neutered.
“We also treat heartworms, microchip and spay/neuter the animals,” she said. “We provide the new owners with a little care package to help ease the transition.”
The humane society can often spare certain supplies, but Wallace said it was a better idea to use the lag time between application and adoption to prepare.
A cat carrier, she explained, is a must.
“We like people to bring their own carriers, but if you’re approved to bring home a cat, you should have your own,” she said.
In addition, the new owners can count on a bit of pet food to help the recently adopted adjust to its new diet, or the owners can choose to keep using the same kind of food.
The Worcester County Humane Society is a no-kill shelter, but if it finds itself overrun with certain animals, some of those animals are transferred to Worcester County Animal Control in Snow Hill, which does euthanize prospective pets of no owners can be found.
The humane society charges $50 to adopt cats, but also has programs like “senior to senior,” where a cat 8 or older can be adopted by a person over the age of 65 for free.
For more information on pet adoption from the Worcester County Humane Society, call 410-213-0146. Worcester County Humane Society is located at 12330 Eagles Nest Road, Berlin. The shelter is open every day except Mondays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.