Gananoque humane society nears kitty capacity

Like many humane societies and private shelters, the Gananoque and District Humane Society (GDHS) is nearing capacity.

With kitten season coming to an end, the GDHS is feeling the pressure as its number of cats has begun to rise.

Many of the cats at the local humane society are stray or feral cats in the community that are found and brought into the shelter, and cat surrenders from owners who for many reasons can't keep their pets.

The humane society had its emergency intake process open for the surrounding area but when it started to reach capacity it decided only to have intakes open for Gananoque and the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands Ward 1, explained Kelly Croft, volunteer and board of directors member at GDHS.

"We have approximately 65 cats in care right now and there are more cats in foster homes," said Croft.

The maximum capacity for the small shelter is about 100 cats in both foster homes and in-house at the humane society. According to the GDHS Facebook page, the status of capacity can change from day to day.

Croft said she noticed that when other shelters in the area close their intakes and are at capacity, many people will call around for help.

Recently, Furry Tales Cat Rescue in Smiths Falls and the Kingston Humane Society have maxed their capacity; the local Gananoque shelter opened its intake area to relieve the pressure.

Croft said that GDHS can receive calls from the Ottawa area out to Trenton from people who are looking for help or to surrender their cat during those times.

Kitten season refers to the time of year when many litters of kittens are born, and usually happens between April and October or sometimes November, so as the season comes to an end every year many shelters are affected and will often have to close their intakes.

However, as the number of cats grows at the human society the number of volunteers hasn't grown alongside.

"That puts a strain on us because we don't have the manpower to help care for the cats and provide for them," said Croft.

Currently the shelter is actively recruiting new volunteers to lighten the load in all areas around the facility, like cleaning, office administration, fundraising and more.

GDHS is almost entirely volunteer run, with only two paid veterinary assistants. People can volunteer throughout the week or on weekends and usually it's about three to four hours of work, according to Croft.

Foster homes are needed as well for cats that may not be quite ready to be adopted.

"I want to encourage everyone to spay and neuter their cats and get them microchipped because a female cat can have two to three litters in a kitten season and over a lifetime that can add up to having several kittens," said Croft, adding that even spaying and neutering one cat will help the cat population in the area.

To surrender a cat or kitten has no intake fee at GDHS. On the other hand, to adopt a cat costs $160 for kittens, $100 for adult cats and for senior and special needs cats the cost is $80 with an application process.

If an application to adopt was approved, then those interested are asked to come in and see what furry friend fits best with their family.

Currently the Gananoque Humane Society's doors are still closed to the public.

Further information on how to adopt and volunteer can be found at:

Story by Jessica Munro, Brockville Recorder and Times, for the Local Journalism Initiative