Cats Crowd Humane Society

Nov 21, 2013

The Oneida County Humane Society has too many cats.  It’s running a discount on adopting adult cats to try and get some of them into homes before the holidays. 

The Oneida County Humane Society is offering a discount for adopting cats like Tucker.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

“We come in at about eight in the morning, give them their canned food treat…”

Director Bria Swartout leads me into the humane society’s cat community room, where about sixty cats of all colors and sizes share space.  About thirty more are down the hall, being checked in or getting medical care.  Swartout says the shelter has been over capacity since May.

“It’s always the busy season, it’s kitten season.  We’ve had many litters come through, we still have a few litters in foster as well.  So all summer we’ve been struggling with the amount of cats that we’ve had.”

Swartout says it’s gotten to the point where the shelter has a waiting list for so-called surrenders –cats whose owners don’t want them anymore.  

Bria Swartout is Executive Director of the Oneida County Humane Society.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The shelter still accepts strays, even though it’s straining space resources to the limit.    

“With this many cats here there are stressors, when there’s just too many cats in a situation.  Sometimes we have to put them in kitty time outs for a little bit.”

As if on cue, one of the cats hisses defensively.  In hopes of relieving the pressure, the Humane Society is offering adult cats for just a five dollar adoption fee.  Kittens are more in demand, so they cost more.  Swartout is hoping to find homes for about 30 cats in the next few weeks.