Young Brady Simpter threw a small toy and a kitten, like the boy just a fraction the size of an adult, went after it.
Brady, his mother and his half-sister drove from Fuquay-Varina to the SPCA of Wake County adoption center in northwest Garner to adopt a cat. They came in part because this week, because of a corporate sponsorship, adoptions of cats and kittens are free.
Scotties Facial Tissues will cover the normal $45 feline adoption fee in a promotion that lasts until Sunday, July 27, and will feature a mega-adoption event the Saturday before at the Pet Smart at 2550 Timber Drive off U.S. 70 in Garner.
The event corresponds to kitten season, a peak breeding time of year for strays. Tuesday afternoon Mondy Lamb, in charge of development and fundraising for the SPCA of Wake County , said Monday already had brought a significant uptick in adoptions.
“This time of year is so dangerous for kittens and puppies, kittens especially because there’s more stray cats,” Lamb said. “Shelters are so overcrowded. The timing couldn’t be better.”
For the Simpters, the timing was also great.
“We already had one cat and we were talking about getting her a friend. This was perfect,” Nancy Simpter, Brady’s mother, said.
The family has had pet cats and dogs (and also fosters dogs until a home is found), but in the last four months they have had their two dogs died.
“So now we’re going to do the cat thing. It’s a lot easier,” said the mother of four. “We came for one cat. We’re going home with two. We just couldn’t decide between two of them.”
Brady, for his part, said “yes” when asked if he was excited. He’s also clear about what makes the family’s current cat cool. “Playing with her,” he said simply.
The SPCA of Wake County can keep only a few dozen cats and kittens in adoption rooms. It has another area known as “on-deck” where cats wait for a spot, and another building where another 20 or so wait to get that close. Another 140 to 150 await the adoption center having space for them at all in foster homes, Lamb said.
The pets cost SPCA about $250 to spay and neuter among other health and care needs, so even with the adoption fee, the SPCA’s stream of donation is heavily relied upon.
Every year, 8 million dogs and cats are taken into shelters. Because of space constraints, about 4 million are ultimately euthanized, so SPCA employees call the need to find homes for the pets an endless effort.