Animal Shelter Throws Birthday Party for 19-Year-Old Cat Without a Home

An Ohio animal shelter has warmed hearts on social media after it threw a birthday party for a 19-year-old cat in its care.

The shelter, the Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society, shared photos and video footage of the occasion on its Facebook page on Tuesday, where it gained hundreds of likes, comments, and shares.

Photos show the cat, Sammy, outfitted in a checkered collar and glittery hat on his birthday.

His cage was decorated with bunting and a toy cake complete with a candle.

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The shelter had said the rule for adopting him is that his future owners must throw another birthday party when he turns 20 on June 15, 2022.

The shelter said on Tuesday: "Recently, the staff at Kitty City learned that today is senior Sammy's 19th birthday! Naturally, we threw him a birthday party!

"Happy birthday to this beautiful fella who would love a nice, quiet home to live out his golden years!"

In Focus

Sammy's birthday

Sammy wore a checkered collar for the occasion.
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Footage posted in the comment section of the post shows staff singing "Happy Birthday" to Sammy as he enjoys a bowl of food.

Ray Anderson, media and community relations manager at Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society, told Newsweek the response to the party has been "overwhelming and heartwarming" and that multiple people had reached out with adoption offers—some from overseas.

He said: "Sammy came into the shelter on June 7 and it was under unfortunate circumstances, as his owner had to go into assisted living where Sammy wasn't allowed. But from his owner, we were able to learn that his birthday was this week, so our staff naturally threw him a birthday party.

"He's a very sweet, affectionate cat who just loves to people-watch and take naps. A very easygoing, carefree guy, despite his age.

"If readers are inspired by Sammy but aren't able to make it to Cincinnati, we encourage them to adopt a senior cat from their local shelter. Shelters nationwide are struggling with capacity right now, ours included!"

Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society describes itself as a "no-kill animal shelter" that provides stray dog services and animal adoptions. "No-kill" means animals are only euthanized when there is no live outcome option. A live outcome option is where an animal can be adopted or transferred. It accepts donations and sponsors via its website.

According to statistics published by the shelter, it received a total of 1,368 dogs so far this year, with 297 in the month of May alone. The vast majority of these have been strays, though some have been relinquished by their owners.

Of this year's total, the statistics show most have been adopted, redeemed by their owner, or transferred to a rescue. 29 have been euthanized or died in care.

During the same period the shelter received 1,238 cats, with most being strays and 269 relinquished by their owners.

Of these, 1,000 had a "live outcome" and 78 were either euthanized or died in care. In a statement alongside its statistics the shelter encouraged people to consider adopting or fostering animals.

This story has been updated to include new photos.

Sammy's birthday
The shelter has said it has received a number of offers to adopt Sammy. Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society/Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society