A young mother nurses her five kittens, plus two she adopted, at Responsible Pet Care of Oxford Hills in Paris. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat

PARIS — Responsible Pet Care of Oxford Hills, already loaded with adoptable cats and kittens, is caring for over 40 more surrendered by their owners.

Shelter Manager Lucille Moffett is looking for generous hearts to help pay for spaying and neutering the surrendered felines, and finding loving homes for them and the other 110 cats at the facility or in foster care.

“These are cats that come from a very special circumstance, a home where they were greatly loved,” Moffett said. “Every one has a name, we already know all about their personalities. Our first examinations show them to be in good health. But the owners became overwhelmed and realized they needed help.”

Moffett and her staff took in the young cats over several days in early September. Each one was immediately given medical attention and treatments.

There were only five females and none of them are pregnant, Moffett said. “But that’s because each of them was already nursing kittens. More than a dozen of them are kittens.”

The next step is to spay and neuter the cats over the next months.

“The cost to alter these and provide rabies vaccinations will be more than $3,000,” Moffett said. “We are not sure how many of the kittens are female and that will cost more. We probably won’t be able to get them all done until around Thanksgiving. It will take that long.”

Meanwhile, the expenses to care for and feed these cats will be higher because the shelter cannot put them up for adoption until then. Those costs will be on top of the supplies and treatments the shelter had to tap for the intake and processing expenses. Some treatments and tests done when they arrived will have to be repeated.

“Our cat numbers really haven’t gone down during the pandemic,” Moffett said. “It seems to have gotten worse. Lately we have been taking in a number of strays and orphans as well as surrenders. It’s a lot of work to re-situate the shelter so those that come in have a quiet corner to adjust.

“We have not been able to have volunteers work in the shelter because of the pandemic. But the staff has been so great all week. We have such a great team.”

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