$5 Felines: The results are priceless

The $5 felines adoption event from Best Friends helps cats around the country find their forever homes. Read cat adoption stories.
By Denise LeBeau

Pam the cat had been waiting patiently in the shelter for her forever home since May 2009. This sweet girl, with shiny black fur and a goofy expression, was a perfect companion animal, but weeks turned to months turned to years as she waited her turn. Other cats came and went, but Pam’s situation continued to mystify the staff at Montclair Township Animal Shelter. Why hadn’t she been adopted yet?

To help shine the spotlight on their wonderful felines for adoption, the shelter decided to participate in the $5 Feline adoption promotion from Best Friends. Their volunteers and staff put up hundreds of flyers and spread the word via social media.

Extra special kitten adoption

Cat looking out the window of her new home

"We are thrilled with the results of the $5 Felines adoption," says Melissa Neiss, shelter operations coordinator. "It was particularly heartwarming to see some of our longtime residents go home, like Pam and Piper. Piper was a semi-feral kitten who came into our shelter in October 2010. He wasn’t a kitten anymore and he tested positive for feline leukemia, so he was a special-needs adolescent who really needed a good fit."

Responding to an email alert about Piper, Dorothy acted immediately. "As soon as I saw Piper’s need for a home, I knew I could help," says Dorothy. "He’s fitting in so nicely already. He has settled in with his brothers Chance and Rocky, and looks forward to the evening tuna treat, once he figured out what tuna was. The transition has gone so smoothly."

Dorothy has a special treatment regimen for her cats with feline leukemia. She ensures that they receive a proper diet and nutrition, vitamin supplements, and a trip to the veterinarian right away when something is askew. Piper the FeLV-positive feline is in undoubtedly lucky and in good hands.

Cats adopted into homes

All black cat with green eyes

The proof of the success of the Montclair Township Animal Shelter’s $5 Felines adoption event was in the proverbial poisson-flavored pudding — a total of 28 cats (approximately a third of their shelter cat population) went home.

There were also a few double adoptions. Young cats who are not ready to enter the free-roaming cat rooms are paired up and housed together in adoption kennels. Some adopters who had their sights on one cat decided they just couldn’t break up a bonded pair.

The excitement for both volunteers and staff was palpable. "I came back from my vacation on December 5, the day after our $5 Felines had ended and found the volunteers and staff still beaming from the results," says Melissa. "They were the ones who made sure the surrounding areas were aware of the event, and this is a victory we can all proudly share. It was a great way to come back to work."

Supporting the animal lifesaving

Montclair Township Animal Shelter exemplifies the type of lifesaving work Best Friends strives to support through promotions such as $5 Felines. They are a no-kill municipal shelter that provides animal care and control to the New Jersey townships of Montclair, Verona and Nutley. They continually push the envelop to get more pets into homes, and this type of event does just that.

As for Pam’s new life? "(Her new guardians) send us regular updates on Pam — they love her so much," Melissa says with a smile.

A universal success for felines

The $5 Felines adoption promotion from Best Friends, which ran November 26 to December 3, 2011, helped 889 cats find new homes. While adoption fees were reduced, participating groups still employed the same adoption screening protocols. No corners were cut when it came to the welfare of the cats.

Adopt a cat from Best Friends