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Bloomington Animal Shelter Hosts Free Feline Fridays
Updated December 22, 2014 11:46 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Because of an overpopulation of cats, the Bloomington Animal Shelter has Free Feline Fridays on the first Friday of every month and will be continuing to have them for the foreseeable future.

The shelter currently has more than 100 cats and they need to be adopted to make room for new cats coming in.

"We run out of space for cats all the time," said Jenny Gibson, a manager of the shelter and the volunteer coordinator. "You can't put animals in closets, and you can't put animals in boxes, so we sometimes have to euthanize for space reasons, which is the one thing we do not want to do."

Usually, cats less than five years of age have an adoption fee of $75 and cats five years and older are $55. This fee includes spaying or neutering, basic vaccinations, micro-chipping -- a small chip placed in the cat's shoulder that has its owner's information in case it gets lost -- a bag of food and a free visit to the vet.

Though the adoption fee is waived during Free Feline Fridays, prospective owners still have to fill out an application and meet with an adoption counselor in order to get information and ask any questions they might have.

Danyale Carpenter, a secretary at the shelter, said these questions can range from simple care questions to more complicated ones about how to introduce the cat to other animals.

"Usually if everything is good to go, if they want to take the cat home that day, they can," Carpenter said. "We have to get landlord approval first, and we do call and check with landlords. But it's usually a pretty quick process."

Free Feline Fridays started in 2012 when the shelter started trying to come up with different events to increase adoption, particularly for cats.

"There are way too many cats," Gibson said. "Dogs are more easily adopted because people just seem to value them more, and I think that's simply because there are more cats loose everywhere."

There have been other promotions by the shelter, but Free Feline Fridays has been particularly successful with an increasing number of cats adopted. Even dog adoptions increase on those days, though the standard fee still applies to dogs.

Beyond the benefit of getting more shelter cats adopted into good homes, Free Feline Fridays have the added benefit of reducing the number of healthy cats euthanized because of lack of space in the shelter.

"It's our way to fight euthanasia for cats, basically," Gibson said.

Because of the success of the program, Free Feline Fridays will continue for quite a while, Gibson said.

"I don't see an end in sight," Gibson said. "Having way too many cats is always an issue."

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