The faint echo of soft meows emanated from a corner Sunday of Pet Supplies Plus in Copperas Cove.
Passers-by were greeted by tiny, fluffy felines staring up at them — kittens available for adoption through Spark of Life Foster and Rescue.
The locally based rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that hosts regular adoption and community outreach events with the goal to find homes for as many cats as possible.
“We find that, by holding events here, it gives more people a chance to come see them and find their perfect cat,” said Spark representative Victoria Watkins-Killebrew, who organizes adoption events and marketing for the rescue. “Here, they get a spotlight and forward chance of being seen.”
The organization brought 15 kittens, most of them born to strays or homeless mothers rescued from the surrounding community, to be adopted by Cove residents.
“We prefer our local pets to stay local,” said Deborah Sweat, Spark of Life director and founder, who said the rescue will adopt the cats to anyone but prefers to keep them in this area.
Sweat fosters many of the cats in her own home until they are adopted and said that, besides many kittens, Spark of Life also has 25 adult cats rescued from an emergency situation in Coryell County that are up for adoption.
Sweat said those looking to be new pet parents can fill out an application in-person at an adoption event or online at Spark of Life’s Facebook page.
Most of the kittens are adopted out for a nominal fee of $75, which includes spaying/neutering, a microchip and a rabies vaccination when the animal reaches a safe age to undergo the procedures.
Pet adopters may also contractually agree to obtain these services independently for a lesser adoption fee.
Sweat said fees are negotiable as the goal is ultimately to find good homes for the animals.
“We need to find owners,” Sweat said. “It’s not about selling them.”
She also said the organization allows interested pet owners to foster kittens for a trial period if they wish.
The rescue also accepts donations of supplies and other support on their Facebook page.
“Our biggest need right now is canned wet food,” Watkins-Killebrew said.