May 28, 2004, VANCOUVER – The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is asking anyone who is thinking of adopting a pet to consider going to their local animal shelter or rescue group instead of a pet shop or backyard breeder.


“June is ‘Adopt a Cat Month’ and it is tragic that thousands of cats are killed every day in Canada simply because there are not enough homes for them,” says Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director. “The majority of mature cats waiting patiently in shelters and with rescue groups have it the toughest because many people don’t want to take home an older cat. Instead they want a kitten,” continues Hickey.


HSC Executive Director Michael O’Sullivan, who shares his home with several feline family members, doesn’t understand why mature cats aren’t popular with people looking for animal companions. Because they needed homes the most, he has always shared his home with older cats, and has never adopted a kitten.

“Most people looking for a cat choose young kittens because they’re cute and playful,” says O’Sullivan. “They also require a lot of attention. Mature cats, once they’re settled in their new homes, don’t usually require as much care and attention as kittens do – and they provide lots of affection and are great companions.”

O’Sullivan also wants to remind people that by providing a home for a cat in need you’re not only helping your new feline friend, but yourself as well.

“Pets provide many benefits to their human guardians. As well as affection, love and companionship, pets can also lower blood pressure and even cholesterol and triglyceride levels,” says O’Sullivan.

During Adopt a Cat Month, June is also a good time to welcome a cat into your family because many families take holidays at this time of year and they can spend considerable time helping their new four-legged family member get adjusted to their new home and family.

10 Ways to Make Things Better for Cats

  1. If you are interested in getting a pet, consider adopting a cat in need from your local animal shelter or rescue group.
  2. If you want to adopt a cat, learn what is required (both time and money) and make sure that you can provide these before adopting a cat. Make sure that you are allowed pets where you are living. Take into consideration that some cats can live for 20 years – even longer.
  3. Raise your feline friend as an “indoor cat.”
  4. Make sure that your cat is spayed/neutered.
  5. Have your cat checked regularly by a veterinarian.
  6. Cat-proof your home for his/her safety.
  7. Provide your cat with plenty of quality time. Buy your feline companion toys and participate in his/her enjoyment of these toys. There are several items for cats available from The Humane Society of Canada (check out the HSC Online Adventure Store at or call 1-800-641-KIND (5463)).
  8. Support organizations that help cats.
  9. Encourage others to take care of their cats including raising them as indoor pets.
  10. Educate others about the importance of adopting pets in need.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

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