You may have noticed a trend occurring in larger humane societies and animal shelters across Green Bay and the Fox Valley lately. It concerns the "C" word...that's right, CATS!
For years, shelters in our area have struggled with how to deal with their cat populations in ways other than just turning away unwanted litters or being forced to euthanize them due to lack of interest in adoptions and lack of room. In our area (and everywhere across the United States), cats have always been the major problem. Many speculate that this is because cats are so plentiful that they are readily available and often free or that the way in which some cats relate to us causes us to have a disconnect with them versus dogs. The lack of interest/affordability in spays and neuters has also been cited as well as those individuals who insist upon letting their cats out to stray or breed indiscriminately. Rural communities around the Fox Valley are still very common and so are the cats they keep to control vermin but many do not want their barn cats fixed because the mortality rate can be high and they want those new kittens each year to help keep their population up. But the fact is that an adult cat can reproduce 2-3 times a year, 4-6 kittens per litter starting as early as six months of age. Think of how many cats you've seen wandering around and do the math...kind of scary right? Many people used to "take care of" this overpopulation themselves but now established shelters have become good and humane drop sites for the community's unwanted surplus cats.
In response to this, Oshkosh Area Humane Society, Fox Valley Humane Society and Bay Area Humane Society (three of area's biggest shelters) have all changed their policies regarding cat adoptions. In one way or another with Oshkosh leading the way many of their cats are FREE! That's right, FREE. Because of the basic economics of cat populations in our area (think basic supply and demand) these shelters have been trying to create a value where there may not have been one and save a few hundred or thousand feline lives in the process. Oshkosh Area Humane Society http://www.oahs.org has completely waived their adoption fees on ALL cats and kittens available for adoption. There may be fees for some other vaccines but distemper is included and you just need to be approved for adoption. Fox Valley Humane Society http://foxvalleypets.org has decided that all cats 1 year old and older will be free to approved adopters and Bay Area Humane Society http://www.bayareahumanesociety.com has followed suit with a similar program that has free adoptions on any feline 6 months or older!
This is a great idea to try in our area and has the capacity to be a real game-changer for the hordes of unwanted cats that take up such a massive amount of the donated resources that our shelters need to survive. So if you are looking for a feline friend, why don't you help these groups out? Visit their websites for more details, http://www.petfinder.com for details on their available pets and when you're ready to take your free kitty home...remember, a small donation is always appreciated.