HUNTINGTON - The number of cats and kittens adopted or handed off to rescue groups at the Huntington Cabell Wayne Animal Shelter has improved, but there are still dozens in need of good homes, the shelter's director said Wednesday.
The shelter had pleaded for relief late last month, saying it was 40 cats over capacity with an inability to properly care for them all. The feline population is now more manageable, but that number could skyrocket once again during the height of kitten season, said Courtney Proctor Cross, executive director.
"We're still full, but we are in a better place with the cats," Cross said.
Meanwhile, the shelter's dog population is posing its own challenges as Cross awaits guidance on what to do with several dogs and puppies seized in pending court cases.
Kitten season is a period between early spring and late fall when feline reproductive cycles are most active. This is the time period that the shelter is inundated with cats being dropped off, like last month when the population reached more than 100.
The shelter has not had to euthanize any cats for overpopulation as it works toward a goal of becoming no-kill, Cross said. Several people responded to the shelter's pleas for adoptions, and rescue groups worked to get a dozen more cats adopted in communities with a higher demand for them.
"For our dogs, we're still maxed out. We don't have any open cages except in one hot room," Cross said. "We have so many dogs here that are part of different court cases that are taking up a lot of space. I'm trying to see if we can get some resolution on that."
Cross said she is trying to figure out if those dogs need to be held until court cases are resolved or if the dogs can be adopted out.
Anyone interested in adopting or fostering a cat or dog should contact the shelter at 304-696-5551 or message it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HuntingtonCabellWayneAnimalShelter. People may also stop by the shelter at 1900 James River Road from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Anyone interested in helping the shelter cover the cost of caring for so many pets may make a donation to Western West Virginia Animal Rescue Alliance on PayPal at email@example.com. Donations can also be mailed to 216 11th Ave. W., Huntington, WV 25701.
Travis Crum is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. He may be reached by phone at 304-526-2801.