With the annual Invermere Companion Animal Network (ICAN) adoption event right around the corner, now is the time to start prepping your home if you are thinking of welcoming a little furry pet into your life.

For the third year in a row, the lovely ladies at ICAN are opening their doors to the public in hopes that many of the felines in their care will find new homes.

“(People) come and wander around and get to know some kitties, and hopefully fall in love with somebody and take them home,” said ICAN shelter staff member Sylvia Schultz.

At the moment, the shelter has 17 adult cats up for adoption, which are close to a year old or over, and 18 kittens at different stages. As kittens need to be at least eight weeks old before getting spayed or neutered — and the shelter has a policy of performing the surgeries before adopting out pets — only three of the kittens will be ready to go in time for the event. Four litters of babies two to four weeks old that are still in foster care will not be ready, but their photographs will be on hand for anyone interested in taking a look.

“They can certainly book and we will hold the kittens if they decide to take them,” said Schultz.

This is the one day each year that the fee to adopt a new best friend is lowered. While the standard adoption rate is normally $100 — which covers all the necessary startup health care costs and means your precious new pet comes to you spayed or neutered, de-wormed and with first vaccinations — collecting a cat on the day of the adoption event will make just a $75 dent in your wallet.

Potential pet owners are asked to bring their own carry cage for transporting their new family member home. Home preparations for the new arrival should also be taken care of well beforehand with food, litter box and toys ready to go. Kitten-proofing a house is also important, which online resources can help with.

“It’s not a good idea for people to come here spur of the moment and say ‘Oh, I’m going to take this cat home,’ and they go home and they’re not prepared at home for it,” Schultz said.

As ICAN staff love seeing cats that have developed a special bond leave together, a special price is available for pairs, to be discussed at time of purchase. While the shelter currently houses only cats, staff are on the hunt for a new location that will allow ICAN to expand to include dogs in the future as well.

The event takes place on Saturday, May 26 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the ICAN shelter at 455 Panorama Drive in Athalmer. Not only with refreshments be served, there will be face painting for kids, free samples of cat and kitten food, and the option to have a photograph taken at no extra charge of you and your newfound cat companion.

For more information, call the ICAN shelter at (250) 341-7888, email info@icanhelpapet.com or visit the shelter’s website at www.icanbc.com.