EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

December 6, 2007

MSPCA, Animal Rescue seek people to adopt more than 200 kittens, cats

A family whose house was condemned dropped off eight cats and four kittens at the MSPCA this week.

Nobody was surprised. Workers at the organization’s Nevins Farm in Methuen regularly take in dozens of cats a day, and the cuddly felines are piling up, they said.

“The volume of cats coming in is much greater than those going out,” said Mike Keiley, manager of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Route 28.

At least 200 kittens and cats are up for adoption at the farm, the largest animal shelter in the area. In an effort to find homes for them, the MSPCA is hosting an adopt-a-thon on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The cats vary in color and size. Some are long-haired, others short-haired. A few are declawed.

All are healthy and ready to go to a loving family, MSPCA officials said.

“We’re hoping to have a really great adoption day,” Keiley said.

Cats are seasonal breeders and tend to give birth during the summer months. Babies born to mothers living temporarily at the shelter’s foster homes are now ready for adoption. Plenty of adult cats also are available.

Annually, kittens and cats make up about half of the 7,000 animals at the MSPCA farm. Keiley said he doesn’t know exactly why, but this year the farm is “seeing a fascinatingly large number of cats.”

“They are our biggest overpopulation,” he said. “We’ve just been hammered.”

Cats and kittens needing homes are showing up elsewhere in the Merrimack Valley. Cathy Ahern, president of Animal Rescue Merrimack Valley, said the warm fall may have contributed to the birth of dozens of unwanted kittens in Greater Haverhill. Her organization doesn’t usually receive phone calls at this time of year from residents who know of stray cats having litters of kittens.

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