OCEAN CITY -- A partnership between Petco in West Ocean City and the Town Cats organization of Worcester County resulted in the opening of a new cat adoption center this week.
“We are very excited about this new outlet for our rescued cats and kittens and think it will serve the Ocean City community well,” said Town Cats representative Chris Aument.
Officially founded in 1998, Town Cats is the evolution of several independent efforts that began in 1992 to manage the area’s feral cat population and breeding.
“Before  it was just ad hoc,” said Town Cats representative Jeanne Donovan.
Town Cats was formed with the “primary mission” of promoting the spaying and neutering of feral cats as well as providing food, shelter and vaccinations. However, population control isn’t perfect and excess breeding remains a problem, according to Donovan.
“Everyone always has cats and kittens available for adoption,” she said.
By agreeing to manage the cat adoption center that Petco opened on Tuesday, Town Cats representatives said that they hope to find caring homes for felines that might otherwise wind up on the street or euthanized.
While they may have had some hard luck, Aument stressed that the cats are all healthy and perfect for adoption.
“All cats offered for adoption will have received their required shots, been tested for FIV-FeLV and been de-wormed and treated for fleas,” he said. “Cats over four months have been spayed or neutered and received a rabies shot. The cats can be seen in the store every day during operating hours.”
Donovan agreed that all of the animals will be healthy and pointed out that it is much cheaper to adopt a cat than go through a specialized breeder.
“They’re going to be much more expensive,” she said.
Town Cats is only asking for a $50 adoption fee to help cover the expenses of running the center.
Between the low cost and the high positive impact on taking in unwanted cats, Donovan is optimistic about the new center. Town Cats has worked with Petco Charities in the past, she explained, and has received grants and donations from the group.
Besides the adoption center, Town Cats is active in Worcester and is seeking volunteers to help manage and work with feral cats.
For more information, contact Aument at 610-716-3704 or visit www.octowncats.com.