August 8th is recognized yearly in Canada as National Cat Day to raise awareness about feline adoption.

Judy Hughes, a co-cat coordinator on the board for the Portage Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), says this day is not only about the importance of adopting a cat but the responsibility of owning and loving one as well.

"We're on an intake freeze right now. There are so many cats that are loose, not spayed and neutered, and litters of kittens being found, so I guess for National Cat Day, we would just love to have a safe place for every cat."

Hughes talks about a free spay and neuter initiative that PAWS has currently going on.

"It's an excellent program that we're offering. It's $75.00, and we're just focusing on cats right now. That includes all the vaccinations and a rabies shot, as well as their spay or neuter. We have three vet clinics working with us to offer this program. It was an anonymous donation made to us so that we could run this program. So, it's a very good deal."

Hughes adds that in order to be a part of this program, they look at family income.

"We are trying to offer this to people that are perhaps lower income and need some help with getting their animal their cats spayed or neutered." 
The program started in the first week of May and is ongoing until they run out of funds from the anonymous donor.

Hughes talks about the feeling of seeing a cat going to a friendly home.

"It's lovely," continues Hughes. "We have some very lovely cats who are living in kennels in our shelter and when they go to a home. We're just as excited as the people that adopt them, so we do reference checks before the cat goes out to a home. All our cats have been checked for feline leukemia. They've received all their vaccinations, their rabies shot, and they're spayed or neutered. If that is not completed at the time of adoption, then it's still covered in the cost and is up to the adopted family to finish off with the vet work."

Hughes notes that PAWS expects a cat to be an indoor cat when they adopt out there is a two-week return policy if a cat doesn't work out with a family. 

"Each cat has their own personality, but we love them all."