The Winnipeg Humane Society opened its doors Friday for a cat giveaway. The shelter has seen hundreds of animals dropped off in recent months. In July alone, 600 animals were brought in.

Kittens under four months are $25 to adopt. Older cats were free.

The giveaway got a big response. Before the doors opened at 11:00 a.m., there were more than 200 people lined up. By 6:00 p.m., all the cats had been adopted. Over 200 cats in total from the Winnipeg and the Pembina Valley humane societies found new homes.

This adoption day set a new record for the Winnipeg Humane Society.

“I would have waited all day,” said Leigh Dilay, who was waiting in line.

Five-year-old Zoey Walker picked out hers right away, choosing a black and white feline. She heard about the giveaway on the news and what happens to some cats who can't find homes.

Since May, the Humane Society has taken in 1,750 cats. Hundreds had to be euthanized.

Zoey’s mother Brenda said the family was already considering getting another cat, and the promotion sealed the deal. “I wish we could take more and so does she but we stood in line for an hour today and are happy we could do something,” she said.

If you can't take a cat home you can still make a difference. There's a special need for high protein kitten food donations.

Craig Street Cats is also having an event at St. Vital Centre running from Aug. 16 through Aug. 23 seeking to find homes for pets.

Humane Society staff said they have had similar promotions other years but have never seen a response this large. They said the entire week has been busier than usual, with many coming in early to meet cats they may want to adopt.

Some couldn't even wait for the give-away day. I think some people came in and found the cat of their dreams, they didn't want anyone else to have it, so they adopted it right then and there, didn't care about the promotion,” said spokesperson Laina Hughes.

Some people warn about these types of promotions. Darcy Johnston from Darcy's ARC said he worries that people who get pets for free won't be willing to spend the money to feed them or treat them if they get sick.

- With a report by Alesia Fieldberg