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When you look at tiny Missy, it’s hard to see how someone could throw her out of a moving vehicle in Española. But, two weeks ago, someone did and the 7-week-old kitten was lucky to escape with only minor injuries.
Although a witness was able to write down the license plate number, local authorities have been unable to track down the driver, and the tiny tabby is recovering in foster care.
But, like Missy, the staff at Española Valley Humane Society wants to move past the tragedy and focus on the kitten’s future. “We don’t know who did this to Missy, but it is certain that it was someone who did not love her. So, now it is time for us to find her someone who does,” said Linda Sanchez, foster care coordinator.
And that’s exactly what shelter staff plans to do. At the Seventh Annual Santa Fe Kitten Festival, the shelter plans to have nearly 100 cats and kittens up for adoption at two locations, all in search of permanent, loving families.
Missy will be there, but so will Peony, a 10-month-old Tortoiseshell kitten who was surrendered by her owner nursing four kittens of her own, and Jake — one of four polydactyl kittens.
“We just want to give the kittens in our community a second chance,” said Lisa Gipe, director of operations. “We offer low cost vaccines and free spay and neuter and door-to-door education programs, but every year, we still struggle with intake numbers that make adoption entirely within our community impossible.”
It was out of this desperate need that the Santa Fe Kitten Festival was born in 2008, and seven years later, it remains one of the largest cat adoption events in the southwest.
Last year’s festival placed 160 cats and kittens into loving homes, and this year’s two-location event hopes to once more empty out the cages at the shelter.
“We want to save lives,” Sanchez said, “but it can be so overwhelming to come in to boxes of kittens being surrendered every day. It’s not just about prevention and education, its also about finding homes for the kittens that are already here.”
The Santa Fe Kitten Festival will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at PetSmart in Santa Fe and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday at the Española Valley Humane Society in Española.
Kitten adoptions in Santa Fe are $20, and cats over one year of age will have their fees waived. Kitten adoptions in Española are $10 each and cats over one year of age will have their fee waived.
All cats and kittens will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, microchipped and go home in a free carrier.
For more information, contact Lisa Gipe, director of Operations, Española Valley Humane Society at 505-753-8662 or email@example.com.