Pet adoption event the cat’s meow

Toronto animal services partners with Petsmart to find families for felines

Sidney Nielsen and Matt Ross, both 31, walked into the Leaside PetSmart store last weekend planning to adopt one cat.

They left with two.

When the East York residents’ roommate moved out the previous week, she took her cat with her. That prompted the visit to the Laird and Eglinton avenue pet store, which was holding one of its national adoption weekends.

“We’ve always had an animal, so we were like, ‘we need an animal,’” Nielsen said.

When they reached the display of adoption-ready cats, two of them “just gravitated towards us,” Nielsen said of Sally and Sullivan, the newest members of their household. Both were strays that had been picked up by Toronto animal services.

A total of 16 cats were adopted during the event. Mary Lou Leiher, program manager at Toronto animal services, says the Leaside PetSmart has been partnered with the City of Toronto for over 15 years. Cats supplied by animal services are available for adoption there year-round, but a national adoption blitz is held four times a year.

“We generally choose animals that we know will tolerate the change of location,” Leiher said of the process used to determine which cats are transported to adoption centres. “Mostly we send cats, and cats hate their environment to change so we try to pick cats that can handle it.”

A long-haired domestic cat named Felicia was also adopted during last weekend’s event. Her new owner, Rose Godin, 27, celebrated by buying a  leopard print carrier specifically for the occasion.