COOPER COUNTY - The long gravel road leading up to Columbia Second Chance will no longer welcome cats. Due to an early and long kitten season and not enough adopters, Columbia Second Chance said today it won't take any more cats or kittens until further notice. The organization accepted its last feline into the eight-room cat area last Monday.
Executive Director Valerie Chaffin said it has been a hard decision for Second Chance to make, but it's for the health of the cats. "There's no room at the facility and all of our fosters are full," Chaffin said. And the facility is full, with six to ten cats playing, sleeping, and shedding in each room.
Second Chance said it currently has 150 felines in its system. This includes cats and kittens that are with "foster families." Second Chance relies on foster homes to care for some felines in its system. There are currently about 25 foster homes. Ninety cats and kittens are living among these homes.
Second Chance provides food, vet care, and toys for all cats and dogs in the adoption program. Foster families are only asked to provide water, shelter, love, and transportation to things such as vet care or an event for the organization.
Columbia Second Chance does not euthanize animals. "When we make the committment to a cat or a dog, it's ours until it's adopted," Chaffin said. Which is why Chaffin said the moretorium is necessary for the organization's cat in-take.
Chaffin said Second Chance has had to stop feline in-take in prior years, but it has never been this severe. "We've been getting 4-6 calls, e-mails a day [to pick-up a cat] since the end of June," Chaffin said.
Second Chance is not 100% sure what caused the feline influx this year. It said kitten season came early this year, which may be due to the warmer-than-usual weather. Chaffin also said the warmer weather may be causing less adoptions.
To encourage cat adoption, Columbia Second Chance will have "Formal Fridays" starting this Friday and continuing through August. On Fridays all black and "tuxedo" cats will be free to loving homes. Also starting this Friday, adopters can name the price they want to pay for cats older than three years.