SEATTLE - Local animal shelters are being overrun with cats because there are fewer places that can take them. That's putting more stress on many of the smaller, no-kill shelters.
Animal Talk is an animal rescue in Seattle that finds itself in need of its own rescue. The shelter has so many cats that, for the first time, owner Missy Young is having to turn others away.
"It breaks your heart every time you have to say no. Every time I open my e-mail, there are lists and pictures of animals they're going to have to euthanize because there's no place for them to go," says Young.
Young is seeing a record number of cats being returned, yet there are fewer places to return them. The result? Cages upon cages of cats and fewer and fewer resources to take care of them all.
The bad economy is forcing more owners to surrender their animals, many of them with medical issues. The costs to care for so many more older cats is crippling. From special diets to owner surrenders and cats with special needs, Missy Young can't afford to stay open and she can't afford to close.
"It is a thought that has crossed my mind a lot lately, but there's not a lot of places for these animals to go,” she says.
Larger, no-kill shelters have an advantage since they can rely on a larger foster care network. But both the Seattle Animal Shelter and the Seattle Humane Society are at capacity for cats. In fact, if you want to surrender a cat to the Humane Society, the wait list is out to December.
The Seattle Humane Society is sponsoring a "Spay Day" on November 2. The cost is $10 for females, $15 for males. Feline microchipping and vaccinations will also be available for $5 each. For more information you can contact the Seattle Humane Society at (425) 649-7560 or visit their website, www.seattlehumane.org.