Evanston animal shelter overcrowded with cats offering 2-for-1 deal

The Evanston Animal Shelter is full of cats, from the same house.

“By the end of the first day, it was around 10 at night, we had 29 cats, and then over the next three and a half days that number was 42,” said Nancy Mays, cat manager.

The situation was revealed in August, when the Evanston Animal Shelter received a call from the fire department about six or eight cats rescued from the house fire.

Mays responded to the scene and couldn’t believe what she revealed.

She remembers, “I stood there for a minute and saw all these faces looking at me and started crying for a minute. I thought this was very different from anything we’ve ever dealt with.”

More than thirty rescue operations required antibiotics for infection, sterilization, fertilization, tooth extractions, and vaccinations.

“There are 300 boxes of cat food a week, a few hundred pounds of cat litter,” Mays said.

The volunteers also had difficulty distinguishing between cats.

“As is often the case in overcrowded homes, there was a lot of inbreeding, so there were a lot of orange cats,” Mays said.

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To find forever homes for cats, and make them more memorable to the public, the shelter decided to call them “Cats Ice Cream,” using Baskin Robbins’ logo of more than 31 flavors to give its appeal.

There are many types of coffee, black walnut, cotton candy, and lemon custard to name a few.

Mays says the cats have some of the best personalities she’s encountered at the shelter. But the cost of caring for cats is exorbitant, to date nearly $25,000.

The small building wasn’t big enough to accommodate all of the new cats, so the shelter currently rents a storefront down the street, where the cats can sit at the window, waiting for a new owner.

“We never thought about it again. We never sat down and said can we do this? Their teeth are falling out, can we do anything about it? It just happened.”

The shelter offers a two-for-one deal to the cats, because they love to be together. If you can’t adopt, they are also looking for foster homes. For more information, visit www.EvanstonAnimalShelter.net.

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