If you’re a car racing fan, you’ve probably heard of the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500, and the Baja 1000.
But have you ever heard of the Maryland 2000? It’s not a car race, but a race to find homes for 2,000 cats during the month of July.
This is the middle of “kitten season,” the time of year when shelters are inundated with cats and kittens.
The problem is huge. Here’s why. There are an estimated 70 million feral and community cats roaming in the United States. All those cats start coming into heat in late January and February. They give birth to litters just 9 weeks after being impregnated.
These daunting numbers are only the beginning because cats can get pregnant multiple times during their reproductive season, which can last through the fall.
Shelters feel like they can’t get their heads above water. In 2016, from May through September, BARCS alone took in over 1,900 adult cats and 975 kittens.
This year,18 Maryland shelters have come together to fight the problem by launching the Maryland 2000.
Says Nichole Miller, the MD SPCA director of operations, “To help find homes for thousands of cats and kittens in our state, the Maryland SPCA and our Baltimore Animal Welfare Alliance partners, BARCS, Baltimore County Animal Services and Baltimore Humane Society have invited animal shelters across Maryland to join us for a statewide month-long adoption event called the Maryland 2,000 Saving Lives Across Maryland. “
All of the shelters involved are waiving adoption fees for cats and kittens throughout July.
An estimated 860,000 cats are euthanized annually at shelters around the country. The Maryland 2000 aims to make a dent in that number in one of the most critical months of the year.
You can have an impact by adopting (for free) a cat or kitten from one of the shelters participating in the Maryland 2000. Here’s a list of all participating shelters:
The MD SPCA
Baltimore County Animal Services (BCAS)
The Baltimore Humane Society
The Humane Society of Harford County
The Animal Welfare League of Queen Anne’s County
Anne Arundel County Animal Control
Caroline County Humane Society
Cecil County Animal Services
City of College Park Animal Control
Frederick County Div. of Animal Control & Pet Adoption
Howard County Animal Control & Adoption Center
Humane Society of Carroll County
Humane Society of Kent County
Humane Society of Washington County
Prince George’s County Animal Services Division
Talbot Humane Society
Tri County Animal Shelter
And if you want to be tempted by some adorable kitties, watch this short video to see how the Humane Society of Harford County is coping with kitten season.
More In Critter Corner
- From shelter to police work read more
- Dogs who are adopted from BARCS can benefit from free training. read more
- Many counties offer free or low-cost spay and neuter services at their municipal shelters. Baltimore County Animal Services, the municipal shelter for the county, offers these services at three locations. read more
- Purring? Check. Coffee and cookies? Check. Adoption? Check! What happens when you combine adorable, adoptable cats with a place that serves coffee, cookies and tea? You get the Charm Kitty … read more