While Leslie Riedel, the assistant manger of the Cape May County Animal Shelter, recounted the story of an animal hoarding case that occurred two years ago, resulting in dozens of cats, many of them sick and dying, being brought into the Cape May County animal shelter, Swirl, a black and white cat, rubbed her back affectionately against Riedel's legs.

"There were kittens dying in our hands," Riedel said. "Many of them didn't make it."

Swirl and her brother, Sailor, were two survivors of that particular case that did make it, and the only two still looking for a home. June 7 marked their two-year anniversary at the shelter.

"It's a bittersweet anniversary," Riedel said, while she petted Swirl.

In honor of the two cats' two-year milestone, the county animal shelter is offering a special adoption discount of $10 for both of them together.

Riedel said their adoption was delayed because of how sick they both were when they first came into the shelter.

"They had to be quarantined for several months, so while their siblings went off to new homes, they stayed here," she said. "They were so close to death we didn't think they were going to live, especially Swirl. I mean, it was horrific. We couldn't even tell how old they were because they were so malnourished that their teeth hadn't even grown in."

But now both Swirl and Sailor are healthy - and inseparable, Riedel said, hence the two-for-one deal.

"They deserve a better life than this," she said.

June also happens to be Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month according to the American Humane Society, and to honor it, the county animal shelter is offering a buy-one-get-one-free special on all cats and kittens throughout the month. Adoption of a cat younger than 1 year old is $70 and over 1 year is $35.

The shelter is using this opportunity to highlight its ongoing feline specials, which includes the Open Your Heart program and the Seniors for Seniors program.

Open Your Heart is a program sponsored by an anonymous donor, which includes a $10 adoption of a cat who has been in the shelter for a long time, as determined by the shelter staff, with the sponsor paying the remaining costs of adoption.

The Senior for Seniors program allows senior citizens, people ages 62 years old and older, to adopt a senior cat or dog older than 8 for free.

The shelter currently has more than 130 cats and 25 dogs up for adoption.

Contact Elisa Lala:


Where it is

The Cape May County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center is at 4 Moore Road, Cape May Court House, NJ. 609-465-8923