HERMITAGE, Pa. (WKBN) – The Humane Society of Mercer County is completely full of cats.

The agency says it’s no longer taking in any more cats unless part of a humane case or special circumstance. They partly blame the pandemic for the exponential growth. During the pandemic people were adopting pets, but as soon as people were going back to work, those pets started coming back to the shelters.

A total of 42 cats are under the care of the humane society — meaning spay or neuter appointments and food costs add up.

Humane agent Paul Tobin says the cost of caring for the animals has made it difficult to make progress on needed renovations to their new building. Humane agents say the cost for procedures have gone up. There are less organizations able to provide low-cost services.

“The days of getting your cat spayed or neutered for, you know, 15, $20. it just doesn’t happen anymore. I mean, like the 42 cats we have on average, we’re between like 60 and $100 to have one of those spayed or neutered,” said Tobin.

Tobin said a lot of veterinarians are getting backed up with appointments. So, there is a delay there as well. Today, they are taking 17 cats across state lines to Girard to get spayed or neutered.

He says they try to keep general funds and building funds separate, but he says they have to whatever is necessary to care for the animals first.

“Every time we have either a large removal, or if we have an animal that has a serious issue, the more money that we spend taking care of the animals, absolutely takes away from the building. So, it’s kind of a little bit of a catch-22 thing,” says Tobin.

Humane agents are asking if you are willing and able to bring a cat into your home, to consider it

“The animals are our very first priority, so we’re obviously going to take care of them first. But it just kind of boxes up a little bit on doing what we want to do as far as the building goes,” Tobin said.

The Humane Society is in need of pet food and cat litter, and cash donations are also welcomed. Donations can be dropped off at any time at the Transfer, Pennsylvania, location.

Next month, the Humane Society is hosting a spaghetti dinner at the Reynolds VFW to continue fundraising efforts.