HOUGHTON - The volunteers at K-SNAG are looking for permanent homes for some cats, and they hope their fifth annual Home for the Holidays Adopt-a-Pet effort Saturday at the Copper Country Mall will do just that.
Dawn Verberkmoes, K-SNAG (Keweenaw Spay-Neuter Assistance Group) volunteer and board member, said the Home for the Holidays event started as a showcase for the group.
"We were just looking for a way to show the animals we were caring for," she said.
Photo courtesy of K-SNAG
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Copper Country Mall, the Keweenaw Spay-Neuter Assistance Group will conduct its fifth annual Home for the Holidays Adopt-a-Pet event. Adult cats and kittens will be available for adoption.
Verberkmoes said K-SNAG also places animals in foster homes until permanent homes can be found, which is the goal of Home for the Holidays.
As of Monday, Verberkmoes said the plan was to bring eight kittens and five adult cats to the event at the mall, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Verberkmoes said the group has rescued 103 animals this year, an increase over last year, when 90 animals were rescued. Since 2006, Verberkmoes said, 1,400 animals have been spayed or neutered.
There is a $25 fee for adopting kittens, Verberkmoes said. It costs K-SNAG about $200 to have all the health checks done on cats, including testing for disease, ticks and vaccinating.
Local veterinarians don't do spaying or neutering until animals are at least 5 months old, and the $25 adoption fee is a sort of down payment on those procedures.
"That $25 will be taken off the total cost," she said.
Adult cats don't require a fee for adoption because all the work has already been done, but K-SNAG volunteers will accept money for them.
"People usually give us a donation," she said.
Verberkmoes said K-SNAG started as a fundraising organization to pay for the cost of spaying and neutering stray dogs and cats. Eventually, people started coming to the members and asking if they could take animals, which led to the formation of the foster program.
Although cats are the most numerous animals K-SNAG works with, Verberkmoes said they also work with dogs and more unusual pets, such as rabbits, ducks and chickens.
"We rescued two roosters," she said.
Verberkmoes said the roosters, which were probably someone's pets, were abandoned at the Sturgeon River lookout.
There is a limit to the animals the organization will deal with, however, Verberkmoes said.
"If it's a wildlife issue, we call the wildlife rehab people," she said.