Nine-year-old Jonesborough resident Polly Braswell gets to know Simon the kitten at the library’s Cat Adoption Day.

By ALLEN RAU

Staff Writer

arau@heraldandtribune.com

The next time you visit the Jonesborough branch of the Washington County Library, you may be able to come home with someone to read the book to.

The Humane Society of Washington County recently held “Cat Adoption Day” in the conference room of the library.

“We’re always looking for different venues to be able to come showcase our friends,” Humane Society Program Assistant Makani Timlick said. “Sometimes we’ll have dogs, if they ask for them. This one was just a cat adoption event.”

According to Timlick, the organization hosts events at Petsmart in Johnson City every other weekend and roughly once every six months at the Jonesborough Library. The Humane Society is also a foster-based program, which relies on volunteers who open their homes to take in animals in order to prepare the animal for adoption.

“(The volunteers) take the animals to their homes and give them love and attention, and that helps us to keep them out of cages, which can be very stressful,” Timlick said. “It also helps to get to know their personality and their character. Each animal is very different so when we have potential adopters looking for something specific, having them in foster homes and seeing how they do in a home environment around other people, around children, then we get to really tell them a lot more in depth as to how they are.”

Because the Humane Society is a foster-based program, there are very few animals in the actual building. Timlick believes that while there may be four critters on their site, there are many more dogs and cats in the program.

The organization also routinely seeks volunteers willing to become foster “parents” and also volunteers to assist with building maintenance, events, clerical work and even dog walking. Those who wish to help can fill out the application on the website, call the Humane Society or just drop by.

Another goal for the organization is making sure that pets are spayed or neutered in order to limit the number of stray animals. All animals from the Humane Society are already “fixed” and they offer low-cost vouchers to help reduce the price of getting a pet spayed or neutered.

“It usually costs around $300 for dogs … with our program it ranges between $70 to $85,” Timlick said. “That’s our No. 1 goal in this area, especially because it’s just such a huge problem, and that’s one of the reasons why the animal shelter is getting in as many animals as they are. People don’t understand that a female cat can get pregnant at four months old and every year they can have two to three litters of two to three live, healthy cats that will go on to reproduce.”

While all potential pets have already been fixed, they have also been micro-chipped, are up to date on all shots and have become accustomed to living in someone’s home.

“Every animal deserves a home. And adopting from us, you’re ensured that they’ve already been in a home environment where they’ve been loved and cared for,” Timlick stated. “You’re getting a cat or dog that’s been worked with, where they can tell you their different quirks and personalities so you’re not going in blind-sided.”

Joining Timlick at the library and up for adoption were three adult cats; Bruno, Drucilla and Reese; as well as three kittens; Alvin, Simon and Theodore. According to Timlick, the event was the first for the three adult cats. “Reese came in and she was an outdoor cat and had kittens. So we got all of her kittens fixed and she’s fixed now and she’s just looking for a home. Bruno and Drucilla, they were adopted from us before but you know, things happen. Their owners have to move and unfortunately their new housing doesn’t accept pets.”

But at least one of the potential pets had caught the eye of 9-year-old Polly Braswell of Jonesborough. She seemed to enjoy the cuddling ability of Simon the kitten, while he definitely enjoyed the petting skills of Miss Braswell.

For more information, call the Washington County Humane Society at  (423)926-8533, located at 2101 W Walnut Street, Johnson City.