CHAMBERSBURG - The Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter has 200 cats that would like to have homes for the holidays.

The majority of them are people-oriented strays, but some have been surrendered by their owners. Not all of them are at the shelter; they are scattered between the shelter, PetsMart, Petco and foster care.

"We're just hoping to find them homes for Christmas," said Jennifer Vanderau, director of communications for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter.

Animals can make good presents, as long as they aren't "surprise pets," or pets that are being given as gifts without the recipient's prior knowledge. Vanderau said that if someone wants to give a cat away as a gift, that's fine, but the person receiving the animal should know about it ahead of time and has to be the one to fill out the paperwork. Also, it would be better for the receiver to pick out the animal themselves since they would know what they would like best in a cat.

The shelter is also conducting its Adoption from the Heart program, where cats that are seven months old and older can be adopted for whatever price a person can afford for the adoption fee. Kittens six months and younger are $85, but all cats are spayed or neutered, have been started on their vaccinations, and will have a microchip implanted in them.

If adopting isn't in a person's plans, the shelter is always looking for people who are willing to spend time with the cats and play with them and/or donate food for both kittens and adult cats. Food for the adult cats must be a meat-first product, like chicken and rice or fish and rice.

There is no timetable or deadline for adopting a cat from the shelter. They would just like to see as many cats as possible have a new home for the holidays.

"All we want for Christmas is to find these animals a home. That would be the best present we could have," Vanderau said.

David Barr, 717-262-4752

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