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So many cats, so little space

JULIE SUTOR
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk
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SUMMIT COUNTY ” One of the top perks of being a Summit County local is cashing in on off-season discounts before the tourists hit town.

This month, Summit County Animal Shelter (SCAS) is getting in on the game by offering deals on adoption to prospective pet owners willing to take in two kitties instead of one.

“Oh, my gosh, we have so many cats right now, and they’re so great,” said SCAS administrator Donna Taylor. “They have great personalities, and they’re all different ages.”

In response to the flood of new cats, and in honor of American Humane’s Adopt-a-Cat Month, the shelter is offering $10 off the adoption of a second cat for anyone who takes in a shelter feline at the regular adoption rate of $85.

The size of the facility’s spring cat population has climbed far higher than the typical dozen the shelter comfortably handles.

According to American Humane, animal shelters throughout the country are inundated with dozens of litters of kittens in the spring and summer. About 71 percent of those animals will be euthanized for lack of adoptive homes, although locally, SCAS rarely puts animals to sleep.

“Cats tend to go more slowly than dogs ” this is dog country up here,” Taylor said. “But what’s so good about cats is that you just have to scoop out the litter box once a day. With a dog, you have to get up in the morning to let it out. Compared to dogs, they’re really low-maintenance.”

And, while a cat may not join its owner on a backcountry ski, it can still take part in everyday pet-play that most associate with dogs.

And cats can even be good for your health.

“They’ve been known to lower people’s blood pressure, and they help with stress. Just petting them reduces the stress in your own system. I just think they’re the greatest,” Taylor said.

Shelter officials recommend that pet owners keep cats inside, rather than letting them roam. Many cats can live as long as 20 years if they receive regular checkups and teeth-cleanings. But the average lifespan of an outdoor Summit County cat is three to five years, cut short by weather and predators, particularly coyotes.

For dog owners interested in adding a feline pet to the family, the shelter conducts introductions to gauge compatibility between potential siblings.

Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 203 or jsutor@summitdaily.com.


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