After moving from Barbados 12 years ago, Kimitra Lovell said learning how to own a cat in Canada was a big reality check.
Lovell was just one of the dozens of people who visited the PetSmart near Eglinton Avenue and Birchmount Road on Sept. 15 for the National Adoption Weekend featuring cats and dogs from Toronto Animal Services (TAS).
She said in Barbados, they do these things a lot differently.
“You just get a kitten from someone who has extras, you grab some sand from the beach and put it in the corner of your garden,” Lovell said. “You leave a window cracked and … you just know that the cat goes out and comes in.”
The cost of adoption at the event — $99.75 per cat — included nearly everything that a new pet owner needed to get started, store manager David Ross said.
“The pets themselves will be vaccinated, spayed or neutered, TAS microchips, they’ll be in good health and what we include for the customer is a coupon book partnered with some of the vendors at the store,” he said. “So, free products and services depending on whether it’s a cat or a dog.”
Lovell decided she wanted to adopt two kittens, litter mates Ninja and Sakura. The workers from TAS talked to her about transitioning them to different foods, what kind of litter to use and helped her through the forms that she had to fill out.
“It’s very thorough. It asks you, ‘Why are you getting a pet? Do you think you can look after it? What are you going to do with this pet when you travel?’” Lovell said. “It makes sure you’re a responsible parent.”
Ainslie Kiff, who’s worked at Toronto Animal Services for almost six years, said that TAS has been coming to the Eglinton PetSmart location since the store opened three years ago.
“It’s another avenue for helping with adoption. It gets a bigger audience,” she said.