If you have room for an extra kitty or two, now is a good time to act: Animal shelters in Detroit Lakes and around the area are full, with long waiting lists, and adoption costs are low.

At the Humane Society of the Lakes, it’s cat craziness -- the pet shelter is stretched to capacity with friendly kitties waiting to be adopted, and there’s a long waiting list of people with cats and kittens waiting for room to open up at the shelter.

“We have 25 cats ready to go home today,” Shelby Rasmussen, development coordinator for the Humane Society of the Lakes, said Thursday, Oct. 3. Another 10 are isolated in a room at the shelter until they recover from respiratory illness. And there are 82 cats and kittens on the waiting list to get into the shelter when space opens up.

The shelter has a maximum capacity of 35 cats.

For some reason, “we’re seeing larger litters than usual -- we’re looking at eight to 10 kittens in a litter,” shelter manager Amber Sund said.

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People on the waiting list are caring for cats, often mamas with large litters of kittens, in garages and outbuildings that won’t work well for winter shelter, Sund said. When room opens up at the shelter, they usually bring in whole litters, not just a solitary cat or two.

The cats at the Humane Society are friendly and domesticated, not wild or feral, and many of them are playful kittens, Rasmussen said.

The crush of cats is unusual, and it’s not just a problem in Detroit Lakes, she said.

“There are so many more than normal, and it’s not just us that are seeing this -- Cat’s Cradle (animal shelter) in Fargo is full, too,” Rasmussen said.

The Marshmallow Foundation in Detroit Lakes is “buried,” said employee Connie Hammes. “The last time I counted, I think we have 89 cats.”

The cats there are friendly and loving. It’s hard not to visit without wanting to take one home.

On top of that, she said, “we have people calling in every day with more cats, and there’s no place we can send them -- we have all sorts of rescue friends and they’re all full. They have 220 cats in care at Cat’s Cradle. That’s a lot for them.” It’s unusual for shelters across the area to be full at the same time, she said.

The Marshmallow Foundation has a $50 adoption fee for cats right now, and they come spayed or neutered, vaccinated and tested for feline immunodeficiency virus.

The easiest way to adopt is to fill out an online application (paper applications are also available). Once it is approved, you can make an appointment, Hammes said.

“I get a lot of calls from people looking to surrender their cats. Sometimes they say they’re going to shoot them or drown them,” Hammes said. “If they have stray cats, we just don’t have a place for them -- we ask that they take care of them until there is a place for them.”

In the end, the solution is better birth control for the cat population.

“We just preach spay and neuter, spay and neuter,” she said.

Can you help?

ANIMAL SHELTER: To sweeten the deal for people thinking about taking home a kitty, the Humane Society of the Lakes is running a $65 adoption special through the end of this month. The $65 pays for spaying or neutering, microchip identification and vaccination shots, Development Coordinator Shelby Rasmussen said. “They get much more than $65 worth of stuff,” she said. “Let’s get these cats a home before the snow flies.”

Visit the shelter at 19665 US Highway 59, Detroit Lakes; email info@humanesocietyofthelakes.org; call 218-847-0511; or go to humanesocietyofthelakes.org.

MARSHMALLOW FOUNDATION: The foundation has a $50 adoption fee for cats right now, and they come spayed or neutered, vaccinated and tested for feline immunodeficiency virus.

Visit 1478 Mallard St., Detroit Lakes; email themarshmallowfoundation@yahoo.com; call 218-847-9040; or to to www.marshmallowfoundation.org.