The Iredell County Animal Services Adoption Center held a kitten shower and open house Saturday afternoon, as visitors learned about the shelter and its mission.
The events began during adoption hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and continued with visitations after those ended. There were booths with slush, popcorn and flyers filled with information about the shelter and volunteer activities.
Life-size figures – a fox and a dragon – posed with children for photos. On tours, visitors could enter the cat room, view the dogs available for adoption, and view the six-stall barn and grounds in general. They could also enter the kitten room, where Nicole Heckemeyer used coin containers to show the weight gain of a group of kittens. The children sat captivated as she talked about the 4-week-old kittens she is raising for the organization who will soon be available for adoption.
Heckemeyer said she became interested in the program when a friend was raising a cat she now has. As she watched and learned, she wanted to get more involved. This is her first time in foster care and she said she was thrilled to have the opportunity. She said that over the course of a year she could have two to three litters of kittens and that anything she needs for them is helped by donations to the shelter.
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Iredell County Animal Services provides shelter for between 3,500 and 4,000 cats and dogs each year, according to information provided during the visit. All staff and volunteers undergo training under the Fear Free Shelter program with the aim of improving the animal experience “through education about the emotional needs of dogs and cats”.
The shelter holds stray animals for 72 hours to give owners the opportunity to retrieve them. If they are not claimed at this stage, they undergo the necessary verification procedures and are prepared for adoption. The shelter also offers rabies vaccinations in the lobby during adoption hours for $10 per year. The site hosts monthly rabies clinics on the second Tuesday of each month for $5 cash, during which it offers one- and three-year vaccinations.
The shelter separates cats into their own adoption room, allowing them to move outside of their cage with a sense of comfort with their surroundings. Recently, the staff received training on facilitating groups for dogs at the shelter.
The Iredell County Animal Services Adoption Center is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Saturdays, it is open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
For more information on available pets, visit iredellcountync.gov/152/adoptions.