Overpopulation of cats puts Grand Strand nonprofit in desperate need of adoptions, donations

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 3:30 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2022 at 6:51 PM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Safe Haven 4 Cats SC is a nonprofit that has been working since 2015 to find homes for feral and unwanted cats and kittens.

“We don’t have a shelter or a building,” said Ana Paulus, the treasurer for Safe Haven 4 Cats SC. “We are straight foster home volunteers. 100% unpaid and all the money that we get in goes straight to the care of the kittens.”

Overpopulation of cats has always been a problem, but lately, the cat population has been increasing and the adoptions and donations have been down.

“There’s so many cats and kittens in need,” said Kelly Clark, a foster for Safe Haven 4 Cats SC. “So I would just say spay or neuter your pets because that’s what is causing the overpopulation of cats and kittens and why so many are in need of rescue.”

Clark has been fostering two cats who are siblings named Olive and Oliver since the summer, and no one has come forward yet to adopt them.

“They were rescued from a gas station from a feral momma who stopped caring for them at a few days old. Safe Haven 4 Cats rescued them, bottle-fed them and they came to me in July to foster. They are an absolute joy to foster. They’ve been an absolute joy to foster. They are fun and playful,” Clark said.

There are cats like Olive and Oliver all over the country who were born feral cats and are now having issues finding a forever home.

Safe Haven 4 Cats SC is working to help put a stop to the endless cycle of overpopulation of cats through a trap, neuter and release program.

“There’s so many homeless and stray cats and kittens,” said Paulus. “People in the area do not believe in spay or neutering, a lot of them. So once the animal gets pregnant, they dump them and the cat ends up having kittens and at four months, each kitten can actually have babies. They can get pregnant and have babies and the overpopulation is just tremendous.”

The nonprofit is also looking for volunteers to help set humane traps and re-release sterile cats back to the colony after surgery, help with fundraisers and foster cats and kittens until they can be adopted.

“We do vet the person that does foster for us,” said Paulus. “We want to make sure that when we give them a kitten that they are going to be well taken care of.”

Safe Haven 4 Cats SC rescues cats from all around Horry County.

Since the Horry County Animal Shelter is a No-Kill shelter, overpopulation has increased. They have been looking to city and county officials to help them with more funding.

“It would be really nice if we get a lot more support from the cities of Conway, Myrtle Beach, Surfside, whichever, because we rescue from all over this area,” said Paulson. “We are really having a hard time right now because adoption is so low, donations are so low and it would be really nice if we had more money, more funding, more fosters and our mission and I wouldn’t have to say no as often as I have to for lack of space and resources.”

If you’re interested in donating, fostering, volunteering or adopting from Safe Haven 4 Cats SC, visit them on their Facebook page at Safe Haven 4 Cats SC.

Some of their cats are also available to adopt at Petsense, a pet supply store located at 2803 Church St. in Conway.