June boom in kittens fills up Calgary Humane Society shelter

The Calgary Humane Society needs to find forever homes for a few good cats.

Make that quite a few cats.

That’s because June produced a perfect cat storm over Calgary, resulting in a surplus of felines needing new homes at the Calgary animal shelter, said spokesperson Sage Pullen McIntosh in a Tuesday interview with The Homestretch.

“It is something we will see at this time of year. We typically enter into what we call ‘kitten season’ in early spring, when cats who are not fixed go outside and get pregnant and return home — and that’s when their owners will bring in kittens, or cats. So we will see quite a few [needing new homes],” said Pullen McIntosh.

“Plus, during the month of June, we will see an increase in surrender. That’s usually a busy moving month for people. Sometimes they’re relocating for business, or moving to a new community, and they’re not able to take their pet with them.”

The Calgary Humane Society has an unusually large number of cats and kittens available for adoption. (Calgary Humane Society)

“So we will see an increase in that. And this year, we’ve just seen a bit of a perfect storm, with those two things coming together. We’ve seen more cats and kittens than usual.”

June boom produces a bumper crop

And while the annual June boom in felines is somewhat foreseeable, the boom is even bigger this year, said Pullen McIntosh, who is the Humane Society’s communications and community relations manager.

“It definitely is,” she said. “We always prepare for these types of situations to happen. But we also know you can never control exactly how many animals are going to come in or exactly how many you will see of cats and kittens.”

The Humane Society has announced an emergency adoption event. It launched last week, and, until July 15, people can choose their own adoption fee in order to take a cat home.

It’s possible to add a new cat to a cat or dog household without it being a big hassle, says Calgary Humane Society communications manager Sage Pullen McIntosh. (Calgary Humane Society)

“There is a cost — they do have to pay something — but they do have that flexibility,” said Pullen McIntosh. “That includes first set of shots, that includes everything that they need to get up and running. And we have cats and kittens — everything from eight weeks old to older cats.”

For Calgary pet lovers wondering about the logistics of adding a new family member, Pullen McIntosh says the trick is to incorporate the newcomer gradually.

“If you’re careful and you do it the right way, it can be very successful,” she said.

“We do something called scent swapping.… You’ll give them a blanket or a shirt or something that has their scent on and then they pass that to the other cats, so they have the opportunity to get used to each other.

“It is a very gradual process, but it can work very well.”

Pinning down a figure difficult

As far as numbers go, Pullen McIntosh said there is such regular turnover that it’s difficult to pin down a figure, but added that since July 5, when the emergency adoption event started, 62 cats have been adopted.

That comes after a similar announcement from the City of Calgary’s animal shelter, where they have reduced the adoption fee for cats to $80 through July 15.

“People in Calgary are certainly listening,” Pullen McIntosh said. “They’re coming down to our shelter. It’s been very busy, which is fantastic, and we’re finding a lot of forever homes for our animals.”

With files from The Homestretch.

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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.


Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

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