Rockford shelters near capacity due to an influx in cats

Published: Jul. 15, 2019 at 6:06 PM CDT
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Cats in Rockford are feeling the heat and it has nothing to do with the weather.

“This time of year, every shelter in Illinois, in Rockford, and in the Midwest are all full of cats,” says Winnebago County Animal Services Administrator Brett Frazier.

The influx in the cat population comes from something called kitten season.

“It’s the time of year where all the feral or indoor/outdoor cats that aren’t fixed go into heat and start making babies,” says Noah’s Arc Kennel Technician Jamie Balke.

This time of year does not come as a surprise to these shelters.

“We prep for kitten season. We start emptying out our kennels and slowing down our intake,” says Balke.

Winnebago County Animal Services and Noah’s Arc Animal Sanctuary have over 300 cats and kittens combined.

“And for us that means, at a certain point, we run out of space,” says Frazier.

There are ways to help.

Many shelters suggest a process called ‘Trap-Neuter-Release.’

"Getting these cats altered, while letting them continue to live their lives in outside communities, makes a massive difference,” says Balke. “It is a noticeable difference when we have a good T-N-R year."

Other ways to help overcrowded shelters include donating money, volunteering time, and adoption.

"The great thing about a cat is that a cat will just fit into your life. Help the cats get out of the shelter and into home where they belong anyway,” says Frazier.

To find out more on how you can adopt, visit


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