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Humane Society lures cat-lovers in with new lease program

Only $45 down, zero interest and unlimited snuggling. It may sound like a deal too good to be true, but beginning July 7, the Michigan Humane Society is beginning a lease promotion unlike any other. For a limited time only, lessees can take home a “certified pre-owned” cat as part of the society’s Lease to Adopt program.

According to Kevin Hatman, public relations coordinator for MHS, each summer the society’s shelter facilities see a spike in cats and kittens in need of homes. The Lease to Adopt program is a way of highlighting the felines, so families will consider bringing them home.

“We’re basically jammed with felines, (as a result of) prime breeding season. A lot of cats have been here four, five, six months,” he said. “This gives people the option to take cats home for adoption, or they can basically act like a foster family.

“We have to be very creative about getting the word out about these cats, and we have to do it in a fun way.”

Lessees who bring a cat or kitten home won’t have to worry about the cost of food, veterinary care or litter — it’s all taken care of by MHS and Purina as part of the “free maintenance package.” For the upfront adoption fee of between $40 and $65, the cats come complete with microchipping, sterilization and any age-appropriate vaccinations.

For those who want to return the animals for any reason at the end of the lease program Nov. 17, they can do so. Their adoption fee would be refunded in full, and the pet would be put up for adoption to find a new home. But for those who want to keep their new furry friend, they can — and are encouraged to — do so.

“We’re expecting that quite a few of these cats will end up finding homes with the lessees. If anything, it gets them out of the facility (during the busy season).”

Any cat currently being cared for at MHS is eligible to participate in the Lease to Adopt program. Guests can meet the cats between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays at any of the MHS Centers for Animal Care in Detroit, Rochester Hills and Westland. Eligible cats can also be adopted from any one of six PetSmart locations around metro Detroit.

Michael Robbins, MHS vice president of marketing and communications, said he knows that once people come out to see the lovable cats and kittens, they’ll want to make room in their home for a new member of the family.

“These ‘better than new’ companions offer the best in unconditional love and come loaded with tons of amazing features,” said Robbins in a press release. “We know that when you take home one of our cat or kitten models, you’re going to be impressed. But we can only offer this amazing deal for a limited time only, so head down to one of the MHS showrooms to find your new best friend today!”

For more information, or directions to a MHS Center for Animal Care, visit www.MichiganHumane.org.