Chicago shelters packed with adoptable cats

June 3, 2010 (CHICAGO)

"They have a ton of personality. A lot of people think cats don't have personality but they do. They are very unique in their own way. Some are even very dog-like; they'll fetch, they'll play, they love the laser lights," said Rochelle Michalek, PAWS Chicago.

PAWS expects to take 1,200 cats this year from Chicago Animal Care and Control, twice as many as last year. Here's why:

Some cats were recently given up at Animal Care and Control. There's no room for them, so they wait in the lobby. Recently, more pets are being relinquished due to economic hardship.

"We've been taking in a lot of cats these days our building is full, and we don't have a lot of space left over for cats right now," said Cherie Travis, Chicago Animal Care and Control.

On top of the economics forces, the shelter's executive director is seeing more kittens. These litters were just brought in.

If they aren't adopted, if a no-kill shelter doesn't take them in, Animal Care and Control has limited options. Recently, euthanizations were down, but this spring the center is reaching out for help to avoid having to make more difficult decisions.

"It's kind of a double whammy. Unfortunately, the cats come in and they pay the price for it," said Travis.

Each day, no-kill shelters like PAWS Chicago will pull cats from the center.

Thursday, PAWS took 30, but they can't take them all.

"We transfer so many into our program, but there are still so many more that are available for adoption," said Rochelle Michalek.

Those in the animal care business hope Chicagoans who can afford to will take in some of the cats, instead of passing them by.

Animal experts suggest adopting more than one cat -- as cats are pack animals and will be happier if they have companions The Anti-Cruelty Society is offering a 50 percent discount for adopting a second cat.

PAWS offers a pet food bank for those who want to keep their pets but need help.

Chicago Animal Care & Control

PAWS Chicago

Anti-Cruelty Society

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