If you’re strolling about Harford Mall, take a second to look down at the ground, and follow the paw prints.
If you walk the path of prints, you’ll be led right to the Humane Society of Harford County’s (HSHC) newest cat adoption center, Rescue Me! The adoption center opened up on Sept. 11 and is already off to a great start—with 33 cats already adopted.
“It’s going great,” said HSHC Executive Director Mary Leavens. “We were hoping for one cat to be adopted a day, and we are just exceeding that right now.”
The purpose of opening Rescue Me! in the mall was to further promote cat adoptions and hopefully reach a new audience of adopters. Leavens said HSHC gets about 4,500 animals a year, and 3,100 of them are cats. Getting them all adopted has been challenging.
“We just can’t house them all,” Leavens said. “We have tried all kinds of specials…everything we know how to do. And it went OK, but you can’t do that forever.”
Leavens said Rescue Me! serves as an extension of the HSHC shelter.
Since opening Rescue Me!, adoption rates at HCHS have not declined, Leavens said. The mall location helps draw a different crowd—either of people who don’t know where the shelter is, or don’t want to go there for whatever reason.
Rescue Me! houses about 18 cats at a time or about two per “condo.” The cats live in spacious multiple-story houses, and Leavens said they have adapted to the environment nicely.
“When we first brought the cats in they were like ‘wow this is like Park Avenue,’” Leavens said. “They got in there and checked everything out and looked out the window, like they were totally settled in.”
Rescue Me! is sharing space in the mall with Barons K-9 Country Store, which offers numerous health oriented pet foods, products and gifts for dogs and cats. John Duffy and his wife Stacy Martin-Duffy own the store.
“We have always been involved in rescues,” Duffy said. “When we first heard the idea, we thought it was great, and it’s really been good so far.”
Rescue Me! at Harford Mall is down the hallway near Sears, and between Visionworks and Men’s Wearhouse & Tuxedo. For more information on how to adopt a cat from Rescue Me! including pricing and medical details, visit the HSHC’s website.