Steamboat Springs Middle School seventh-grader Max May plays with a cat Thursday while volunteering at the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs Middle School seventh-grader Max May plays with a cat Thursday while volunteering at the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter.

Kitten litters await adoption

Fall brings influx of felines to Steamboat animal shelter

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To adopt

The Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter is open from noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 2 p.m. Sunday. Adoption fees are $30 for a spayed or neutered dog or cat and $120 for a puppy, kitten or unaltered pet. A 24-hour approval period starts when an adoption application is filled out. For more information, call 879-0621.

Pet of the Week

Pet of the Week has returned to the Happenings page of the Steamboat Today. A dog or cat available for adoption at the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter will be featured every Friday on page 7.

— Many of the dogs that filled the kennels of the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter this summer have been adopted into new homes, but the facility is poised to fill up with cats and kittens in the coming weeks.

"Kittens have that appeal. They tend to get adopted out quickly," shelter co-manager Janel Moore said. "But we're about to get three or four litters."

About 30 cats called the shelter home Thursday, with a litter of kittens at a local veterinarian's office on their way and 15 more cats and kittens in foster care - including "a mom who's about to pop," Moore said.

Young kittens tend to be fostered by volunteers who can give them the attention and 'round-the-clock care and feedings they need, Moore said. They can join the older cats at the shelter when they are old enough to be adopted, at about age eight weeks, she said.

The shelter also has a number of good barn cats for people in need of mousers, Moore said.

The rate at which available pets are being adopted from the shelter seems recently to have been a bit slower than usual, though it's unclear whether people are hesitant to adopt a new dog or cat because of the economic downturn, Moore said.

Animal control officers seem to be picking up more loose dogs whose owners cannot be found and do not come looking for them, Steamboat Springs animal control officer Jennifer Good said.

"People aren't claiming the ones that were strays," Good said. "The adoption cycle always continues."

The animal shelter was "over-full" in late August, with 23 dogs, some doubled-up in kennels. Most of the dogs were not strays but had been surrendered by their owners, which shelter staff attributed to the difficulty of finding housing where pets are allowed.

Fourteen dogs total were at the shelter Thursday, of all ages and a variety of breeds and mixes. Another four strays had been picked up that day, Moore said.

Good urged pet owners to be responsible with their animals and have them licensed and outfitted with current tags to facilitate their return.

The shelter posts a list of its available pets each Saturday in the classified advertisements of the Steamboat Today. The list also is available online at www.petfinder.com/shelters/CO63.html.

- To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com

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