The Kingston Humane Society (KHS) reported that it has taken in 80 cats and kittens so far this month. This brings the total number of cats in their care to 177, well above the building capacity of 98.
“Even with the incredible commitment of our foster volunteers, we’re nearing the point where we’ll need to consider using dog travel crates to temporarily house the cats and kittens that continue to come in as strays and surrenders,” said Gord Hunter, Executive Director of the Kingston Humane Society. “Of course, that’s not ideal nor is it a long-term solution but we’re quickly running out of space.”
According to a release from KHS, in the last 12 months, the KHS has had issues with overall capacity, with capacity for incoming dogs, and now with the seasonal crush of cats and kittens being brought in as strays and/or surrenders.
“This building was not created for animal welfare, and for nearly 30 years, we’ve done a fantastic job of using every square inch to the best of our ability,” noted Hunter. “But even with the retrofits we’ve done and continue to do, it was never intended to house this many animals.”
In addition to the limited physical space, the Kingston Humane Society, like so many other service providers in the City of Kingston, is experiencing severe staff shortages, according to the release. “Veterinary Technicians are at a premium across all of Ontario and we’re struggling to find qualified individuals who are willing to work in shelter medicine,” said Hunter.
Despite all of these setbacks, Hunter said that they are still on target to open the city’s first permanent low-cost spay/neuter clinic before the end of the summer. “Our goal is to accept our first clients in August,” he stated. “We’re starting small – with 10 cats per clinic day – but once we have our team trained in the high-volume techniques, we’ll get those numbers up to as many as 20 per day.”
In January, City Council approved funding of $62,000 to supply the Kingston Humane Society with the additional surgical equipment needed to provide this long-awaited and much-needed service, KHS stated. According to the release, despite a few delays due to supply chain issues, most of the equipment has now been installed and the remaining administrative plans are well underway.
In the meantime, to help encourage locals that might already be considering a new furry family member, adult cat adoptions have been reduced for the remainder of June and all of July. For adult cats that have been with the KHS for less than six months, the cost is reduced to $50 and for adult cats who have been in care for more than six months, the cost is $25. All animals are spayed/neutered and microchipped prior to adoption.