CORNER BROOK — The rescue of nearly 200 cats from a single dwelling on McWhirters Lane in May is likely the largest cat rescue in Canadian history.
Judy Mahoney, Bay of Islands NL West SPCA president, said she was told of the standing by a representative of the Humane Society in Vancouver.
Michael O'Sullivan, executive director with the Humane Society of Canada, said he is inclined to agree.
It is difficult to know for sure, he said, as each animal group keeps its own statistics, and relies mostly on institutional memory.
The SPCA has been working at full capacity in recent weeks to operate two animal shelters and care for over 160 animals.
The organization is caring for the rescued cats, held at the old fire hall on Curling Street, as well its usual animal shelter.
O'Sullivan said the local SPCA deserves compliments for their efforts.
"It is a tremendous strain," he said. "The influx of (these) cats in no small feat."
Mahoney said through community support and dedicated volunteers, the cats are quickly finding new, safe homes.
The 25 cats already adopted are mostly males, said Mahoney, and have been neutered. The female cats are not spayed, as the surgery is more extensive and expensive.
There are still 122 cats in the SPCA's possession yet to be adopted.
Mahoney said, it seems the group will meet their target of having 100 cats adopted by the end of the month.
"That's unheard of," she said. "Cats don't move like that."
Adoption rates of felines is slow because there are so many stray or feral cats in every country, Mahoney said.
It has not been easy to get the rescued cats into another shelter either, because they are already filled with their own cats, said Mahoney.
An adoption blitz started this past week to familiarize the public with the responsibilities of owning a cat — with the goal of having all the rescued cats adopted in three months.
The public is encouraged to visit the old fire hall on Curling Street to see the animals and ask questions about the adoption process.
Volunteers are there evenings from 6 — 9, and this Saturday from noon — 4 p.m., hosting a barbeque with the blitz as well.
Mahoney said adopting a cat is one of the ways the public can help.
She said people are also able to foster a cat for a short while, sponsor a one to be spayed, or make donations towards the care of an animal.