With help from the public, the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare prevented a cat-tastrophe recently.

But the big influx of feline strays is continuing, and the facility needs help in finding the creatures new homes.

“On our Facebook page will be regularly updated when kittens are going out onto the adoption floor,” said Claire Grimes, the Albrecht Center’s development director.

As of late June, the Albrecht Center had 230 cats and kittens in its care.

Some were being kept in big crates in hallways.

“We had never had that many cats in our building before,” Grimes said. “Kitten season happens every year, and we’re almost always prepared for it. But this year, it was sort of delayed and everything hit at one time.”

There were efforts to explore the possibility of transferring some of the animals to other shelters, find temporary foster homes for kittens and offer cats for adoption at The Bone-a-Fide Bakery and the SPCA Thrift Store in the Mitchell Shopping Center.

But none of those strategies worked well enough to reduce the Albrecht Center’s feline population significantly.

“When you are a ‘no kill’ shelter, people don’t realize there is still a need for animals to be adopted out, and no matter how you treat them, a shelter is still a stressful environment for cats and dogs,” Grimes said. “For the first time in seven years, we possibly were going to have to consider euthanizing, which was going to be our last resort.”

On June 28, the Albrecht Center issued a press release about its record-breaking number of cats and kittens.

“Immediately, we started getting media response” Grimes said. “We also did a Facebook Live video to show the situation. People started calling us,”

There were 15 adoptions that day, and 33 the next.

In all, as of Wednesday morning, new homes had been found for 102 cats and kittens. 

The Albrecht Center’s short-term goal was 100.

“We still have 141 because new ones came in after press release went out,” Grimes said. “We are very proud of where we are and very thankful to the community for stepping up and helping us.”

But the season when the most young cats are born might not end until November, so the challenge to get them adopted is going to be a big one for a while longer.

“We need more people to come here and adopt to help keep us in the direction that we are going in right now,” Grimes said. “We’re continuing to offer the adoptions of cats and kittens for free.”

Adoption hours at the Albrecht Center are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The Albrecht Center will be participating this Friday and Saturday in the statewide Pick Me! SC adoption event. The Aiken County Animal Shelter, 333 Wire Road, will also participate in the Pick Me! SC event, as well.

Adoptions of dogs, in addition to cats and kittens, will be free.

No Kill South Carolina is the organizer of Pick Me! SC. The Petco Foundation and BOBS for Dogs from Skechers are the sponsors.

The Albrecht Center is at 109 Willow Run Road.

For more information about the facility, call 803-648-6863 or visit letlovelive.org.

​Dede Biles is the Aiken County government, business and horse industry reporter for the Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @DBethBiles.