Before the holidays, the Society is encouraging Islanders to consider adopting a pet.
The P.E.I. Humane Society reports that its shelter has reached capacity just in time for the holidays.
This year, the charity has received a record number of animals. It’s on track to welcome 1,500 animals by Christmas, with the possibility of increasing to 1,600.
“All of our foster homes around the Island, as well as the available kennels at the shelter, are all full at this time,” said Ashley Travis, the Society’s development and communications coordinator.
Because of the pandemic, many of the new animals are newborn kittens.
One of the causes of the increase of kittens, according to Gayle Adams, coordinator of the Cat Action Team’s colony in West Prince, is a large backlog of cats waiting to be spayed or neutered.
‘One cat will suddenly become six.’
“Several individuals decided to buy a pet during the epidemic,” said Adams, whose volunteer-run organization helps care for and control the Island’s feral and stray cat population.
“Many individuals have adopted cats into their homes, and as a result, vet clinics have become much busy than they were before the outbreak.”
Adams said she has a waiting list of roughly 200 cats that have yet to undergo the surgeries.
“Many of them are also expecting. On the way down [to the Humane Society], a litter of kittens was born in the rear seat of my car, “she stated
“One cat will become six or seven cats all of a sudden.”
According to the Society, the epidemic has caused a shortage of volunteers for capture and release programmes, which has impacted the numbers.
“As a result, you now have outdoor cats that are not only breeding last year but also breeding their children in 2020. And it makes no difference who they do it with, “Travis said.
The kittens they acquire, according to Travis, can be very sick, with respiratory problems, ear mites, fleas, and other “not-so-nice” maladies.
But, she said, they’ve been fortunate in that finding temporary caretakers for neonatal kittens is easier than for other animals.
She explained that as long as the mother cat’s owner or the person who found the mother cat is prepared to offer interim care, these small newborn kittens can normally stay with their mothers until a foster home becomes available.