SHAID going all out for its purrrfect kitties

From this morning’s Herald

Sky comfy, but needs new home

By BEVERLEY WARE South Shore BureauSat. Jan 3 – 6:48 AM

Shelter worker Kelly Campbell holds Sky, who has lived at SHAID in Bridgewater since August 2007. She is the only cat who came to the shelter in 2007 that has not yet been adopted. (Beverley Ware / South Shore Bureau)

BRIDGEWATER — Diva had a home for Christmas. So did Cagney, but unfortunately, home for Sky was still the animal shelter just outside Bridgewater.
The SHAID shelter has been Sky’s home for nearly 18 months now.
“She’s our only 2007 girl left,” said Lynne Ware (no relation to this writer) , past president of the shelter society.
On New Year’s Eve, Sky sat alone, contentedly curled up on a cushion on a rocking chair under a window in the playroom.
“She’s fussy; she picks her friends,” Ms. Ware explained. The cat Sky used to hang with has just been adopted, so the white and tabby cat is going it alone until she decides who out of the nearly one dozen other cats in the room is worthy of her attention.
The no-kill shelter made it its mission this year to find homes for its long-term residents — all of them cats. SHAID joined with 3,500 shelters in 17 countries to take part in Iams Home 4 the Holidays program.
“The goal of this campaign has been to find homes for our residents who have been here for so long,” Ms. Ware said.
Ms. Ware is thrilled with the success of the program in Lunenburg County.
“We have adopted out more than half of our long-term residents,” finding good homes for eight of 14 cats that had been at the shelter since 2007, she said.
“I am just really, really tickled at how many got adopted.”
The program began in 1999. That year, homes were found for 2,563 pets. Last Christmas, more than 490,000 pets were adopted. The goal this year of finding homes for one million pets by Jan. 5. has already been surpassed. By Friday evening, the figure stood at 1,088,506.
There’s nothing wrong with the cats that have been living at SHAID for so long. They aren’t bad tempered, they aren’t sick. “I just think they get overlooked,” Ms. Ware said.
Shelters often discourage people from getting pets for Christmas.
But Ms. Ware said: “I think we’re past the point of making blanket statements like that. People are carefully screened and whether they can adopt a pet at Christmas depends on their situation at home.”
Some houses are not too hectic over Christmas, and the holiday season works well for those who are off work and can spend time at home helping their new pet adjust to unfamiliar surroundings. Adopters are also carefully screened so there are no impulse adoptions. Shelter staff were pleased to see two sets of sibling cats go to the same family, including Sooky and Sally, who came to the shelter a year ago at nine months of age.
Shelter worker Kelly Campbell is happy to see the cats go to good homes, and despite cleaning out 20 kitty litter boxes a day, she said she’ll miss them. Diva, who is deaf, would climb on her shoulder and purr loudly in her ear.
“She’s the most loving little thing, so personable.”
Throughout this campaign, the shelter has absorbed half the cost of adopting a cat, which put the adoption fee at $75. It continues with its Seniors for Seniors program that allows a senior citizen to adopt an elderly pet for $50.
But because SHAID does not euthanize cats no matter how long they stay there, the adoptions have simply made room for more cats who are waiting to get into the shelter.
The playroom is full already, as are the two adoption rooms. And the quarantine room will likely be full within a couple of weeks as staff begin accepting homeless animals into the shelter, which could well be their home for the next year or more.
(
bware@herald.ca)

For more pictures, see the next post and/or her Petfinder Bio, click on her name, Sky

For more info on how to adopt Sky, or any of the other purrrfect kitties who are part of the program, contact S.H.A.I.D. . The six remaining kitties may also be viewed on their own special page at the homeless pet site: http://www.nshomelesspets.com/cat07.htm

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