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Learn the amazing secret to Canadian cat shelter’s 100% adoption rate

Montage of stray cats in bookshop cat-happy
© Forkmarykill / kim_humes – Instagram

By breaking from tradition, a local book shop owner and a Canadian cat shelter have taken a novel approach to the sometimes tricky process of animal adoption.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 05/02/2020, 11:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:32

In 2019 Otis & Clementine’s Books and Coffee bookstore near Halifax, Canada, decided to get creative. Bookstore owner Ellen Helmke opened her doors to rescue kittens that were in need of forever homes. 


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South Paw Conservation Nova Scotia rescue group was Ms Helmke’s chosen charity, and it has since provided her with dozens of stray kittens that roam about the shop. Bookshop customers can cuddle and fuss the kittens to their hearts’ content. What’s more, if a kitten takes their fancy they can adopt. 

Writes Bored Panda, over 30 cats have since been adopted.


If a customer wishes to adopt one of the cats they apply to South Paw. The process costs $255 CAD and references are sought from prospective parents. The money is put towards the necessary medical checks, worming and pet registration. 

Helmke told Bored Panda, “People come here specifically to see the cats, and then some people just wander in to look at books and discover there are kittens.

“Either way, the response has been really great—I mean, who doesn’t love kittens, right?


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“We have a hundred percent adoption rate, which is fantastic.”

A spokesperson for South Paw added, “Otis & Clementine’s Books and Coffee is one of many loving foster homes that provide an enriching environment for our kittens and cats. It’s amazing to have this unique platform to help home our kitties.”


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