Pumpkin, a yellow tabby, was one of many cats that were spayed or neutered at the Berkshire Humane Society on Wednesday during the ‘100 cats for
Pumpkin, a yellow tabby, was one of many cats that were spayed or neutered at the Berkshire Humane Society on Wednesday during the ‘100 cats for Christmas’ event. The goal was to spay and neuter 100 Cats before Christmas to keep the population down. (Holly Pelczynski / Berkshire Eagle Staff)

PITTSFIELD -- Jon Soules and his fiancée Megan Bell adopted Oscar, knowing he wouldn't become a father.

Soon after the Housatonic couple took in the 13-week old black kitten, they signed him up to be fixed through the Berkshire Humane Society's "100 Cats for Christmas." The Berkshire Humane Society conducted the one-day event on Wednesday as its latest effort to curb the unwanted feline population in the Berkshires.

"The program was the reason we adopted Oscar," Soules said as he retrieved Oscar following his delicate surgery. "He is just wild and crazy and has the best personality."

Soules was one of 112 cat owners countywide who registered for the holiday program and paid just $25 to have their pets spayed or neutered by area veterinarians.

A $2,500 grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, along with some Berkshire Humane Society funds, covered the remainder of the spay and neutering fees, which varied depending on the cat. The ASPCA funding came through Subaru's "Share the Love," the automaker's annual holiday charitable campaign.

BHS staff were stunned by the response to "100 Cats for Christmas."

"Within 48 hours of the story being in [The Eagle], we were booked," said Erin Starsja, the nonprofit's cat adoption coordinator. "We may look into doing this again next year."

"We've never done anything with this type of volume," said John Perreault, executive director of the Berkshire Humane Society.

The day began with cat owners dropping off their pets in portable cages at the Barker Road Shelter, Purradise in Great Barrington and the Greylock Animal Hospital in North Adams. The hospital and eight other veterinary facilities performed the operations, with drivers from the local Haddad Subaru dealership providing the transportation to and from the drop-off locations.

Perreault says keeping the feline population in check increases the chances of shelter cats being adopted, many coming from unwanted litters.

"We have saved a minimum of 1,000 kittens being born next spring in the Berkshires," he said.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.