Janesville satellite adoption center hits milestone
Visit the Rock County Humane Society’s shelter, 222 S. Arch St., Janesville; its satellite adoption center in Mounds Pet Food Warehouse, 1725 Lodge Drive, Janesville, or http://www.rockcountyhumanesociety.com.
JANESVILLE It’s an important milestone considering cats already this spring are coming through the Rock County Humane Society’s doors needing shelter and homes.
The humane society’s satellite adoption center housed in Mounds Pet Food Warehouse, 1725 Lodge Drive, just celebrated cat adoption number 1,001.
“To think 1,001 cats are finding new homes from that location is really humbling,” said Angela Rhodes, humane society executive director.
“Mounds is a great partner and really cares deeply about being involved in animal rescue and care,’’ she said.
Besides increasing the number of adoptions, the satellite center raises awareness of the local shelter and hurdles it faces with cat overpopulation, Rhodes said.
“There are folks who find it difficult to come to our shelter with so many animals. It helps us reach people we normally wouldn’t because they can get too overwhelmed when they come here and see 100 cats. At our satellite center, they see six to eight cats,’’ she said.
Although Rhodes, the humane society and Mounds staff and volunteers celebrate every adoption, they would love to see more. More adoptions, though, wouldn’t address the core of the problem.
“The problem right now with cat overpopulation isn’t a problem we can adopt our way out of. We have to get our intake down. No community can sustain an adoption rate at the level of cat intake we see,’’ she said.
To decrease the intake of cats into a shelter, research shows that a community must achieve a 70 percent spay or neuter rate, Rhodes said. The percentage rate here is less than 30 percent, resulting in 400 cats coming to the shelter since Jan. 1.
During 2010, the humane society took in nearly 2,100 cats, while its highest number of adoptions in a year is 820.
“So the road ahead is daunting,’’ Rhodes said.
Every time a cat is adopted from the satellite center, it is replaced with a cat from the humane society’s adoptable floor, which opens up a new spot for another pet in waiting.
“So it’s a constant flow. And the faster they can flow, the healthier they stay. And the shorter time they stay here, the better it is for them,” Rhodes said.
The Mounds adoption center opened in May 1998, Rhodes said.
“I just love the Mounds folks, and I love what they provide for us. It’s really fantastic,” she said.
Meanwhile, the humane society won’t see its cat intake decrease until winter, Rhodes said.
“It’s spring, and when the weather warms up, people let their cats out. So we see an abundance of strays that maybe had been indoors out roaming, and people don’t come for them.
“The adult cats not spayed or neutered have been out there breeding since March, and then in come all the kittens when we already have an overabundance of cats,’’ she said.
Rhodes wishes for a time when the need for homes would decline.
“But with cats,” she said, “it’s a never-ending battle.”