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Adoption events are a wonderful tool to entice potential adopters; shelter animals are out of sight and out of mind, but it’s hard to ignore a dog walking around with an “adopt me” vest or a cat reaching out from a crate as you pass by.

A new opportunity has presented itself to us — one we’d hate to miss out on.

The problem is that we need committed volunteers to help make it happen. Petco is opening in Cumberland Mall and has invited us to make use of their “Think Adoption First” program. The store has six habitats that will house homeless cats on a full-time basis, and we can bring dogs and small animals down to be showcased for short periods whenever we can arrange it.

Morning shifts involve taking the cats out of their habitats and placing them in a carrier while you change their litter, wipe down the cage, and give them fresh food and water. The cleaning needs to be done between 8 and 10 a.m., and takes about an hour and a half. Evening shifts involve scooping litter pans, refilling food and water bowls, and giving the cats a little TLC. It’s best to do the evening shift around or 7 p.m. and, according to how much loving on the cats you do, can take less than a half-hour.

You can sign up for regular shifts as often or as you’re able or as a fill-in for emergency situations. We try to have as many people as possible in the volunteer ranks so that it’s not a burden to anyone. You would be dealing with cats that already are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and tested for major disease. They are always adopted out or sent to rescue, so you would not have to worry about any of them being put down.

According to Humane Society of the United States statistics, 75 percent of the cats taken to animals shelters are euthanized. We are committed to finding ways to make sure the cats entering our shelter don’t face such terrible odds, and your help is key to that mission. This is an ideal way to make your contribution to finding animals good homes and lowering the euthanization rate.

Not a cat person or unable to make a regular commitment? No problem — our dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs (and whatever else Petco will let us bring) need you, too. You can pick up a dog from the shelter and spend an hour at the store, letting people see and get to know him. You can grab a cage with one of our “small and furries” in it and show it off for a bit at the store.

Go online or visit the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and fill out your volunteer application. You’ll be notified of the next available orientation. We’ll teach you everything you need to know and send you off to make your mark in this great cause. I guarantee you that those animals you help will make a very special mark on your heart as well.

Source: Volunteers sought for new effort to save cats

Posted in 2015, SJRAS Articles