Duluth shelter plays catch-up with cat supply
While Animal Allies found homes for 50 cats last week, it will need to repeat the feat again this week to avoid euthanizing animals. "If it weren't for all the cats still waiting in the wings, we would feel like we were out of the woods or nearly...
While Animal Allies found homes for 50 cats last week, it will need to repeat the feat again this week to avoid euthanizing animals.
"If it weren't for all the cats still waiting in the wings, we would feel like we were out of the woods or nearly so," said Jim Filby Williams, executive director of Animal Allies Humane Society. But even as Duluth's two animal shelters chipped away at a glut of homeless cats last week, more unwanted animals continued to arrive. Added to that are about 40 kittens in foster care still too young for adoption but headed to Animal Allies soon.
Animal Allies has extended a two-for-one offer through the end of this week. For anyone who adopts a cat at the regular fee of $75, the shelter will waive the adoption fee on a second cat, even if the cats go to different homes.
Shelters operated by Animal Allies and the city of Duluth are both over capacity at present.
The recent capture of 10 feral cats from a colony near the Olive Garden in Duluth Heights exacerbated the problem. But Williams said homes now have been found for seven of these wild animals, including five adults. Another three kittens -- named Ravioli, Scampi and Fettuccine -- remain available for adoption free of charge. Williams said all three kittens are believed to be young enough to be socialized.
Two of the five adult feral cats were adopted Tuesday by Eryn and Donald "Scooter" Szymczak, who live south of Carlton in Blackhoof Township.
"We like animals, and not only are we saving these cats' lives, but we could use a couple good mousers in our barn," said Eryn Szymczak.
She said she accepts that the cats are wild and may never get over their skittishness around humans, but she appreciates the animals nevertheless. "They may never rub up against our legs, but they're still very beautiful cats."
Williams said he is encouraged by the public response to Animal Allies' adoption drive so far.
This week, John Schroeder, Maurices' senior vice president for store operations, made a personal donation so six co-workers could adopt cats from Animal Allies with no charge.
Schroeder said his family has adopted nine pets through area shelters in recent years and has found the resulting relationships rewarding. He said he felt compelled to do what he could to share the experience with others and to save the lives of homeless cats.
"Pets can't do it for themselves. Someone needs to help them out," he said.