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Home for the holidays

After Sammy’s family moved away without him, the tabby cat was left to fend for himself outdoors.

Concerned neighbors brought him to the Jackson County Animal Shelter so he can find his dream home — a place where he can snuggle inside during bad weather while still having plenty of outside time.

Sammy now has a better chance of getting adopted thanks to the “Home for the Holidays” event running through Jan. 4, 2020.

Two donors — Central Point resident Sid Layton and an anonymous woman — put up a combined total of $1,500 to cover most adult cat adoption fees. The adoption fee for an adult cat is typically $50.

Layton, who has made past donations to cover adoption fees, developed a soft spot for homeless cats after spending a week working on a refrigeration project at the shelter. He ended up adopting an adult cat named Ernie.

“The thing with adult cats is they don’t get adopted as quickly as the cute little kittens that are 2-to-4 months old,” said Jackson County Animal Shelter Manager Barbara Talbert.

Kittens usually find homes within a week, she said.

“The adult cats can linger for a month or two — or longer. On any day, people have a choice of about 25 or 30 cats. No matter how long it takes, we’ll find them a home,” Talbert said.

Although kittens are more popular, adopting an adult cat has some advantages.

“You know how big they’re going to get. You have a sense of what their personality is going to be like. Adult cats don’t require as much attention and exercise as a kitten,” Talbert said.

Winnie, a black and white short-haired cat, is among the adult cats eligible for prepaid adoption.

A shelter volunteer found her living outside as a homeless cat. Winnie had an abscess and needed vet care for her eyelid. The volunteer stepped in to pay Winnie’s medical bills, and she now is healthy and ready to find a home.

Winnie has a calm, quiet personality — until someone brings out a string or cat toy. Then she acts like a playful kitten.

Samantha, a long-haired calico, is another cat that springs into action to bat and catch any toy dangled within reach. The 2-year-old was leading a happy life with several other cats in a home until her owner had to go to the hospital.

Her ideal home is a place where she can be around other cats.

Talbert said the shelter encourages people to have more than one cat so they can keep each other company. The shelter offers a two-for-one special all year in which people can get two cats for one adoption fee.

Anyone who adopts a cat or dog has to meet eligibility criteria so the shelter knows animals are going to caring homes.

Madame Mim is a gray cat with green eyes. She’ll climb inside any bags or backpacks visitors leave on the floor — a thinly veiled ploy to hitch a ride to a new home.

“Right now is an opportunity to help get some of these adults cats who have been at the shelter for a while into homes for the holidays and be back with people — instead of in a shelter,” Talbert said.

The Jackson County Animal Shelter is located at 5595 South Pacific Highway between Phoenix and Talent.

The shelter is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, call 541-774-6654 or visit jacksoncountyor.org/hhs/Animal-Services/Welcome.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.

Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune Sammy is ready for adoption at the Jackson County Animal Shelter.