Anyone adopting a kitten from the Bermuda SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) can get $100 off the cost of getting the animal spayed or neutured.

The charity is offering the saving until September 6 in a bid to encourage more people to adopt.

Its centre in Paget is currently overrun with 50 kittens needing homes.

Kim Sherlaw, SPCA director, said: “We have too many animals and not enough homes, so we are pleading with the public to give these kittens loving homes. We really need your help.”

She said on average throughout the year the centre has about 25 kittens, with July being the peak month following mating in the spring.

This year however, June has seen an influx of the animals.

“We had an astronomical number of kittens brought to us last month and are swamped,” she said.

“It’s a bit of a crisis, and it’s really unnerving to see all these little guys without homes.

“People have brought them to us in all kinds of ways, from grocery bags to boxes.

“We have every variety, from calicos and tuxedo (black and white) cats to brown, silver and ginger tabbys.

“There has to be a kitten here for anyone who is interested.”

Ms Sherlaw said although intake numbers had increased, at the same time adoption rates had decreased compared with last year. She said the recession was probably to blame, as people were forced to cut costs.

“With the change in the economy, it’s difficult for many people to take care of an animal because of the costs related to that,” she said.

She urged the public to stop abandoning animals in the wild.

“People think it’s acceptable to do this as they think the animals can survive in this temperate climate. But this is not the case.”

At the SPCA Adoption Centre, all cats are tested for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) and leukemia.

They are also de-wormed, de-flead and vaccinated. All they need is a good home and love and attention.

The kittens awaiting adoption are eight weeks old but need to be 16 weeks before a veterinarian will spay or neuter them (females are spayed, males are neutered).

The procedure costs between $250 and $450.

“We realize it’s costly to get this done, so that’s why we’re offering this gift certificate,” said Ms Sherlaw.

She added the SPCA hopes to launch a low-cost ‘Spay Neuter Assistance Programme’ in the near future.

By Amanda Dale BermudaSun