By Morgan Davy
BELLEVILLE – The Quinte Humane Society has been pushed to its limit with the influx of stray animals that have been brought to its shelter.
The largest issue is the shelter’s cat population. With over 250 felines currently housed in the facility, the humane society has over double what it is meant to hold.
Cheryl Lepine, an employee at the shelter and head of public relations, said that there is no clear cause for the boom, but the community can help solve the crisis by coming in and adopting an animal.
“With the generosity of the people in our community we hope to get the cats out there and get them into good homes and raise awareness that people need to get their pets spayed or neutered,” said Lepine.
If the shelter continues to receive animals at this rate measures will have to be taken to create space. The sad truth is that not all the cats are well enough to be adopted, and there just isn’t room at the shelter.
“Euthanizing is our very last resort. We usually try to euthanize the sick and the oldest cats first and then hopefully, by calling other shelters, we can find healthy and young cats a permanent place to go. But it is an unfortunate reality that if all efforts fail, it is sometimes our only option,” Lepine said.
To encourage adoption, the humane society is having a sale on cats that are already spayed or neutered. It also has a number of community support programs that help get these animals into a safe home.
“Any senior cat that comes in, we will give it free of charge to any senior citizen. It takes away some of the burden on us and it gives a senior in our community a chance to share some love and time with a furry little friend and take away some of the lonely hours for both of them,” she said.
Rooms in the shelter that are normally reserved for other animals have been taken over by the felines and space is running out. Lepine said that all the shelter can do is hope people either open their homes to a new pet or make a donation to the humane society. It also welcomes volunteers.
“We’re trying to be there for our community and the people in this community and we’re hoping that they’re going to be there for us.”