Amanda Williamson is the marketing director for the Nevada Humane Society, which will be holding a free cat adoption event from July 8-14 at its shelter, 2825 Longley Lane. Visit nevadahumanesociety.org or the Nevada Humane Society Facebook page to learn more.
Start by telling me about being at “cat-pacity,” which you do appear to be.
Yes, we are definitely at cat-pacity—over cat-pacity, actually. We have almost 500 cats right now, which is more than we’ve had in a long, long time. Part of that is due to this kitten season being insane. We’re not entirely sure why. We think it has something to do with the weather. Maybe it was the somewhat mild winter. So, kittens are just flooding in. But we also have a lot of older cats here right now. … Because we have so many kittens, we’ve had trouble adopting out our older cats. They’d rather take a kitten home than a cat that may be 13 years old or may have a kidney issue. Those less adoptable cats have just been hanging out here with us way too long.
So the idea is to get some of those kittens and older cats out the door.
That’s the goal. We’re including kittens in the promotion as well, just because of the sheer amount we have. But our goal is really to get the older cats out. We’ve also been bringing in cats from outside of Reno—because we’re helping out other communities that may not be “no kill” communities. We’ve been taking all of those cats in, so now we’re just at our max.
How will adoptions work?
They can come in. They can look through the cat colonies and the cat showcase … and if they find a cat that’s their match—that they feel is going to do well in their home—then the adoption fee is waived. It’s pretty simple. I mean, they still have to go through our adoption process. They have to be qualified to adopt.
Is there a concern that giving animals away at no cost could result in them living in homes where the people may not have money to care for them?
Right. So, there are a lot of studies that prove that there is no less love or care given to the animal if they’re adopted for free. I believe the ASPCA did one of those. Maddie’s Fund has done one, but, despite that, we have an adoption process that they go through—and they have to be qualified to adopt. … You have to be a match. For example, if the cat is an “angel cat” [one with special medical needs that the shelter covers or subsidizes], you’ll have to be able to get them in for appointments. … But if you want to adopt a cat, there’s one here you’re qualified to adopt.
How many cats do you hope to get out the door?
All of them would be amazing. We already have other shelters in the community and in nearby communities who are asking us to take cats, and we’re turning them down because we don’t have the room. So if we could clean out the shelter as much as possible and bring in those cats from outside of here, then it would just be saving more lives.