The holiday season is oftentimes viewed as a time when families push to find their perfect match through pet adoptions.
Adjusting to life with their four-legged friend can be a difficult process, leaving some to question whether they should part ways with their new companion. But those working at the Peoples Animal Welfare Society of Tinley Park will notice another trend begins when spring rolls in: kitten season.
Terri Buckley, vice president of PAWS of Tinley Park, shared what she thinks is most notable about the effort to find homes for animals at this time of year.
“Well, [with] spring time [the] first thing is it’s kitten season,” she said. “We get a lot of kittens in. We also get more puppies in. It’s a good time for people to adopt.”
Despite popular misconceptions people may hold, she said the shelter sees more adoption during this time of year, compared to the holiday season.
PAWS can acquire as many as 150 kittens in a given season, Buckley said. They also seen around 20 puppies come through the shelter in the last four months.
Buckley said it’s interesting to note how the shelter has been able to place as many as 30 kittens in foster homes and spring just started.
At maximum capacity, the shelter can take in as many as 65 dogs and 85 cats.
PAWS acquires pets by taking in strays, give-ups and receiving pets from high-kill shelters. in three main ways and that means they take in animals through strays, give-ups, or times where families will drop them off, and transports, or pets received from high-kill shelters.
Buckley said many like to adopt at this time for a number of reasons including the fact that school is winding down and thus house training for pets becomes simpler as people may be off for the summer.
Animals placed up for adoption through the shelter receive screenings and when needed, they’ll receive medical attention.
“Our medical bills are about $30,000 to $35,000 a month and that’s because we will pay for whatever the cat or dog needs,” Buckley said. “If it needs eye surgery or ACL surgery of whatever it is, we will come up with money and fix the animal. Sometimes we’ll get calls in from people from other rescues where a dog or cat might need surgery, they can’t afford it. We’ll take that animal in and pay for that too.”
Buckley said the shelter is committed to serving the needs of animals in the area and surrounding communities.
“We are also looking to build a new shelter,” she said. “We’re hoping in the next few months we can breakground. The reason we want to build a new shelter is not to take in more animals, but to make sure that the animals that we have are more comfortable and safer while they’re here.”
Buckley said before the existing facility can come down, the board of director’s and the shelter’s members must approve of the proposed plan.
If the construction project is passed, Buckley said she expects groundbreaking to take place in June.
Some of the challenges the existing shelter faces, according to Buckley, deal with issues related to ventilation, the sewer system and inadequate space.
“We’re looking to see if somebody owns a warehouse in Tinley Park or nearby that they’re not using at this time, that they will allow us to use or we’ll even rent it,” she said. “At some point, we would stop taking in animals and transports and just deal with the animals we have here and move them over to that facility while we build a new shelter.”
PAWS will be engaging in a number of upcoming fundraising efforts to help offset some of the new construction costs.
Among those fundraising events are a 5K run on June 4 and a PAWS Night with the Joliet Slammers on July 15.
For more information on PAWS, its animals and upcoming events, visit www.pawstinleypark.org.