Pick up a winter warmer

The Prague Post

Furry friends ready for adoption this weekend

“If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer,” quipped Alfred North Whitehead.

If you are in need of a lap-warmer for the cold winter ahead, Kocky-online.cz will be holding its semiannual cat adoption exhibition this weekend. Whether you want a fun kitten or a more mature companion, you’ll be sure to find a furry feline to warm you up.

“The cats come from 10 private animal shelters and NGOs, mostly from Prague and the surrounding areas,” explains Zuzana Fenclová, chairwoman of Kocky-online.cz and coordinator of the exhibition. “Two organizations come from Moravia. Someone from Kocky SOS Hodonín gets up at 3 in the morning and drives 300 kilometers to have a chance to find homes for the cats.”

That’s because the need is acute. “There are just a few people willing to adopt cats in south Moravia, compared to the huge number of people who dump kittens out there,” Fenclová says.

Kocky-online.cz is a small, volunteer-run NGO dedicated to placing homeless cats. Kocky’s cats all come with a health certificate and vaccination card. If they’re more than 8 months old, they are also spayed or neutered.

A total of about 150 cats will be available for adoption at the exhibition on Sunday, plus, for the first time, dogs.

“There will be six to 10 dogs, mostly puppies,” promises Fenclová. “They will have international certificates of vaccination with their records of veterinary treatment, similar to the cats that are put up for adoption.”

While Fenclová and her staff are eager to find homes for their cats, they will want to talk to you first, to make sure the potential pet match is suitable for both the owner and the animal. You’ll also need to agree whether the cat is going to stay inside or outdoors, and if it is a kitten (younger than 8 months old), it will need to be fixed. There’s also a small adoption fee: 350 Kc ($17) for a kitten and 700 Kc for a cat.

Kocky-online.cz holds this type of adoption event twice a year. The April exhibition this year drew more than 1,700 people, and 88 of the 114 cats up for adoption found new homes.

Even if you aren’t in the market for a new pet, you can support the shelters by stopping by. Admission is a tin of cat food (available for purchase at the door). And, if you’re a cat lover, you’ll find plenty of T-shirts, handmade toys and cat paraphernalia for sale.

Kocky-online.cz and the shelters that participate in the exhibition are all volunteer-run, and rely on donations to help feed, vaccinate and care for the cats. Volunteers are always welcome, as are foster homes for cats awaiting adoption. If you can’t make it Sunday, you’ll find more information (in Czech only) and cats available for adoption year-round at www.kocky-online.cz.