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Playful, husky M seeks LTR

December 17, 2010

This is Caesar, a big teddy bear of a cat who spent several weeks at the local animal shelter before finding a new home. About the same time, an elderly couple adopted Jamma and Pickles, two other residents of the Small Animal Building at the SPCA of Westchester.

Jamma, a two-year-old female, and Pickles, a one-year-old male, shared a “two-bedroom” cage shortly before they were adopted. Before Pickles arrived, Jamma saw at least two other roomies come and go while she stayed behind. The sweet, shy feline spent much of her time curled up in a clamshell-shaped bed while her more outgoing companions strutted their stuff around the cage.

I worried that it would be a long time before Jamma found a “forever home,” as the shelter puts it. But Jamma loved to be petted and was friendly in her own quiet way, so I hoped that someone would soon recognize her for the catch she was. The couple who eventually adopted her wanted a cat with a mellow personality, so it was a perfect match.


As a cat care volunteer for the shelter, I’ve been lucky to spend time with Jamma, Pickles, Caesar and several other kitties over the last several months. Volunteers help socialize and care for certain cats by spending time with them, checking their food and water supplies and tidying up their cages. The best part of the gig, of course, is getting to pet and play with the soft-furred animals.

The shelter takes in more than 1,500 lost, abandoned or abused cats and dogs every year. If the staff can’t track down a lost animal’s owner within eight days, the animal is put up for adoption. At any given time, there are 150 cats and dogs in the shelter’s facilities.

The shelter’s clinic makes the adoption process easy by examining all new arrivals, spaying or neutering them if necessary and giving them vaccinations.

Not surprisingly, kittens usually are the first to be adopted — within a week on average — while some of their elders live at the shelter for four months or more before the right human comes along to take them home. Fortunately, the adults eventually move from the cage-lined Small Animal Building to the Cattery, a converted house where they can roam freely on two levels, get a sunshine fix near large windows and fresh air in a front porch.

Animal shelters are an ideal place to find a pet, says The Humane Society of the United States, because people typically can choose from adult animals, kittens, puppies and purebreds, and staff members are careful to make a good match between each animal and its adopter. According to the Society:

Another advantage to shelter adoptions is that the fees are usually much less than the purchase price of an animal from a pet store or breeder. And your new pet is more likely to be vaccinated, dewormed, and spayed or neutered.

Around the country, shelters take in an estimated six million to eight million cats and dogs every year, the Society notes. Sadly, as many as four million of these innocent animals are euthanized annually, in large part because of overpopulation — i.e., the many dogs and cats born to parents who haven’t been spayed or neutered.

Fortunately, the SPCA of Westchester has a “no-kill” policy, which means that it tries to find new homes for every healthy or treatable cat and dog brought to the shelter. Thanks to that policy, the organization says, it has a “save” rate of more than 95%.

Many of the shelter’s animals are profiled on its website, which displays photos and brief bios, plus information about the adoption process. If you’re interested in adopting a cat or dog from your local shelter, you can find info and photographs at this website.

Pictured below are a few more of the kitties that I’ve had the privilege to hang out with at the local shelter. Now tell me: Who wouldn’t want to take home one of these fetching felines?




© Janice Leary and My Point Exactly, 2010-2017. Unauthorized use of this material, including original photographs, without express and written permission from this blog’s author is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janice Leary and My Point Exactly with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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