A grant was recently passed which will cover all of the standard fees and veterinary services for cats in an effort to encourage pet adoptions.
On Sept. 1, nearly $1 million was given to Los Angeles Animal Services and to the county of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control to facilitate life-saving options of homeless pets around the county, according to a press release from the ASPCA.
The grant will cover cat adoption fees “make-ready” fees and aims to drive more people to adopt cats from shelters.
“When people think of adopting a pet, it’s mostly dogs,” said Castaic Animal Care Center manager, Karen Stepp. “People love kittens, while it’s very hard to find a home for adult cats.”
The funding was split into $520,000 to the county of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control and $400,000 will go to the city of Los Angeles Animal Services.
The grant will allow for many fees to be waived but all adoption policies and procedures will remain in effect.
According to the Department of Animal Care and Control, in Los Angeles County alone there were 1,193 cats were adopted this year, compared to the 6,978 cats that are euthanized.
“Most cats come to the shelter as owner surrender” explained Stepp, “often times people get a younger cat who doesn’t get along with the old one, so they just get rid of the old one.”
Another factor to take into consideration before buying a cat is that, although they tend to be more independent than a dog, a cat is a responsibility that requires daily attention.
Stepp describes that the process of adopting a cat is very simple; a person can go to the office shelter with an identification code of a cat, then after the employees make sure that the pet is available for adoption, you would normally pay a fee.
“But thanks to the grant it’s all free now,” Stepp said. “You could pick it up the same day or in a few days; as soon as it gets fixed. We’re trying to give these cats a chance.”
Adult cats are generally the last to go according to Stepp. Most felines are under six months old when they are adopted.
“People sometimes don’t even think about going to the animal shelter for a cat, they want a kitten,” said Stepp.
Adopting a mature cat comes with many perks, they are typically already litter trained, they also are less rambunctious and more mellow which makes them ideal for someone leasing an apartment that doesn’t want to risk property damage or an elderly person who is less capable to handle a more energetic pet.
“Cats are fun, they play with things and stuff,” she said. “I hope that people come in and see all the great cats that we have.”