Influx of cats in Rowan County, desperately need forever homes

- With the recent warmer weather, cats are the ones really feeling the heat, especially in Rowan County. 

The Rowan County Animal Shelter said they're asking animal lovers to take action and give them a forever home.

“I have to be very careful not to get too attached because hopefully they’re going to go to good homes,” Bob Pendergrass, director of Rowan County Animal Shelter, said. 

He said he’s always been a cat person.

“It’s kind of nice to have something crawl up into your lap wanting attention when it’s the end of the day,” Pendergrass said.

So it may come as no surprise to those who know him, he’s trying to find these cats the perfect owners.

Pendergrass has seen a significant increase in the number of cats being dropped off in the last few weeks, which he said is typical this time of year.

“Kittens and puppies are born, whether they be to house pets or to stray animals,” Pendergrass said. “People are also outdoors more so if they are stray animals, they run into each other more.”

While it’s not quite at capacity, the shelter is getting close...and feeling the strain.

“We do have kind of policies that we follow of not having things so full that we can’t be ready to take in something that comes in the next day, but we certainly are doing everything we can to avoid euthanizing any animal,” Pendergrass said. 

He encourages all pet owners to spay and/or neuter their pets. 

“Everybody deserves to have a pet but the responsible thing to do to avoid having so much population of pets that they end up in shelters is to consider spaying and neutering your pet," he said. 

When it comes to overpopulated pets, especially kittens, Rowan County Animal Shelter relies largely on rescue groups to help them find a forever home.

“Probably 90 percent of the cats that come in here that are saved, are saved by rescues.”

Pendergrass said there are no-kill shelters in the area but they too have a limited capacity. A better alternative is to find a rescue group, which can often be found on social media sites, particularly Facebook.

If you do want to adopt a cat or dog from the Rowan County Animal Shelter, their offices are open until 4:30 p.m. during the week and 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays. 

The fee to adopt is $80 but you get $70 back to use towards veterinary expenses, such as getting the dog spayed or neutered.

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