A group of Belgian cat adoption agencies have created a new adoption website based off the widely popular, if entirely unpredictable, Chatroulette phenomenon.
Basically a feline spin-off, with an abundance of warm and fuzzies, Catroulette shows visitors what is apparently a live stream of various cats that need good homes.
In the original version, webcams brought a seemingly endless procession of strangers into users' bedrooms, allowing face-to-face interactions that ranged from the friendly, to the sexual, to the hilariously bizarre. If users don't like what they see, they can "Next" the person to switch to someone new.
In Catroulette there is a similar "Nexting" feature, but with more emotional implications, given the cats' situation. The site also shows how many people have skipped over particular animals, which adds considerably to the feeling of guilt one gets when passing them up yet again. Alternatively, users can click the "Adopt" button on the right side of the screen to see the cat's name, age and contact information.
In the U.S., a bevy of celebrities have brought their star power to the adoption campaigns of the Humane Society, the ASPCA and other agencies. Former child star Miley Cyrus recently adopted a fifth rescue dog, People reports. But there is still a tremendous need for homes.
According to "The Shelter Pet Project," an advocacy and public awareness initiative sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, each year close to 4 million pets are adopted in the U.S. The percentage of dogs and cats adopted from shelters and rescue groups rose from 27 percent to 29 percent between 2009 and 2011.
However, the ASPCA reports that about 3 million to 4 million companion animals (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats) are euthanized every year for lack of a loving home.
The majority of pets are obtained from acquaintances and family members, the ASPCA states. With 20 percent to 30 percent of cats and dogs adopted from shelters and rescues. At least one-third of cats are acquired as strays.