Austin Animal Center Hosts Adoption Event for Cats in Need of Homes
Mar 23, 2024

Austin Animal Center Hosts Adoption Event for Cats in Need of Homes

Reporting Texas TV

AUSTIN, Texas – Austin Animal Center (AAC) hosted a Desperate Housecats event to boost adoption for its cats in higher need of homes. Cats in the program are a mix from the shelter and foster homes who are older than two, sick or timid.

AAC volunteer Maggie Brys said most people look for younger cats when adopting, but this event gives more cats a better chance for finding a home. During the event, a few cats are put in a room for adopters to interact and learn more about the cats’ needs and best plans of care.

“It’s a way for us to provide individualized service. We have dedicated volunteers on site so we can talk about the cats. You know, we have a lot of knowledge about them. We can match them up with what they’re looking for in the cats needs and so forth,” Brys said.

Kennels on display for visitors to view cats in the program in Austin, Texas, on March 9, 2024. (Amberlyn Negron/Reporting Texas TV)

Brys said AAC has two to three adoptions per Desperate Housecats event, which is better than the normal average of one adoption on a regular day. This month’s event found six cats new homes, she said.

One of those lucky six was Terry, a small black cat with wide green eyes. Terry’s new parents are Kelcey Hokmuller and Zak Seeker, who said they felt an instant connection to him after playing with him for a few minutes.

“He’s just a sweet little guy, very chill. He let me pick him up and hold him right out of the cage, which was big for us, and just kind of hugged him,” Hokmuller said.

Hokmuller said she didn’t have the intention of adopting an older cat, but after speaking with the volunteers on site, she and Seeker decided to look at the cats in the program. She learned that for first-time adopters, older cats are a good way to go to learn the ropes of pet parenting.

“Kittens are so cute, but adult cats are just like, that’s what they’re going to be for most of their life,” Hokmuller said.

So if you skip over the baby stage, it’s just you don’t have to litter box, train that cat. That’s so nice. Toilet training is terrible. Skip over that every time.”

Kelcey Hokmuller (second from left) and Zak Seeker adopted Terry at the Desperate Housecats event at the Austin Animal Center in Austin, Texas, on March 9, 2024. (Amberlyn Negron/Reporting Texas TV)

Ali Ghilarducci is a first time adopter who took the advice to adopt an older cat after speaking with volunteers. Ghilarducci and her partner said they were ready to consider adoption after taking care of a cat of their neighbor’s cat.

“We had a little cat sized hole in our hearts because we had an alley cat that spent a lot of time with us, but belonged to our neighbor that moved away so it took us a little while to be ready,” Ghilarducci said.

“We’ve been missing having a cat in our life.”

She took home Sergeant Pepper, an orange male cat who crawled into bins when let out of his kennel for some free roaming time. Ghilarducci said the reason she adopted Sergeant Pepper is a little different than what most people would expect.

“This is going to sound funny, but I think that cats that … have really big heads and necks, like for whatever reason, it’s been something that we’ve noticed is a characteristic we like,” Ghilarducci said.

Austin Animal Center has not set its April Desperate Housecats event, but is open every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the public to learn more about adoptions and interact with cats in-shelter.  Adopters can also find information about the cats on the Austin Animal Center website.

“If people are on site, they can just come in and they will match them up with the right cat and we can actually do the application while they’re here. It’s a very quick process, takes about 10 minutes and they can take the cat home with them,” Byrs said.

Tiny Mama lays in her kennel during the Desperate Housecats adoption drive in Austin, Texas, on March 9, 2024. (Amberlyn Negron/Reporting Texas TV)