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Kitty Carnival at packed shelter

Adoption fees cut in half this Saturday as homes sought for large selection of felines now in care

The Delta Community Animal Shelter is holding a Kitty Carnival this Saturday.

The adoption fair is a chance for those considering getting a kitten or adult cat to see the big selection available at the shelter as well as a satellite adoption centre at the Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall.

The one-day event features a reduced adoption fee of $75 for felines, representing a savings of 50 per cent or more. All cats have had their shots, ID and are spayed or neutered.

Manager Sarah Lowe said the shelter is bursting with cats, due to the ongoing problem of people not spaying or neutering their pets.

"Our community is not doing its part by spaying and neutering, still.

This is a problem in North America," she said.

According to the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a cat that is not neutered can, in theory, become the patriarch to a family of 420,000 kittens in only seven years.

The Humane Society of the U.S. says four million cats and dogs - about one every eight seconds - are put down in U.S. shelters each year. Often these animals are the offspring of cherished family pets.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the cost of spaying or neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising puppies or kittens for a year.

Lowe said some homeowners might not mind their cats reproducing, perhaps seeing it as a special event. They don't realize, though, that while they might have homes designated for the kittens, giving them away to friends and family for free, there are likely going to be problems down the road.

"Those people who are getting the kittens aren't spaying and neutering either, so it continues the cycle and saturates the population," she said.

Lowe noted the Delta shelter receives many unclaimed strays, but also many cats from people whose circumstances have changed and they're unable to care for their pets.

The Kitty Carnival will take place this Saturday at the municipal shelter (7450-80th St.) and at the Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall, from 10 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m.

Lowe said prospective cats owners are asked to fill out a "meet your match" survey to determine the cat with the most ideal personality for someone's home.

She said while someone can likely still adopt a cat that's not a best fit, those cats may need some time to get used to their new surroundings.

"If it's not a perfect match we're at least going to prepare them (owners) for what to expect.

They may take a cat solely because she's beautiful but she's a scared cat, and they have a busy home. So they'll need to know it may take a few months for her to come out of her shell, whereas they may want a cat they can drop right in the middle of madness and it'll be fine.

"When people are coming to the shelter to adopt this weekend, we don't want them to come just because they're getting a discount on the adoption fees. We want them to realize they're adopting an animal hopefully for the whole lifetime of these animals."

Saturday's event will not only have kittens and cats for household adoption, but also free feral cats that are not a fit for regular homes but would make great mouse hunters for barns.

Lowe said the shelter is hoping the feral cats will be adopted soon because they're particularly stressed.

For more information, visit www.deltacommunityanimalshelter.ca or call 604-940-7111.

sgyarmati@delta-optimist.com