Hundreds volunteer for opportunity to adopt rare male 'tortoiseshell' kitten

By Daniel Uria

May 17 (UPI) -- More than 300 people have volunteered to adopt a rare male "tortoiseshell" kitten from an animal shelter in New Jersey.

The 6-week-old kitten, named Burrito, was brought to the Animal Welfare Association of New Jersey after good Samaritans found him and two other kittens abandoned on the street.


When Dr. Erin Henry was examining the newly rescued kitten she was shocked to discover Burrito was male, as only 1 in 3,000 male kittens are born with orange and brown fur in the unique tortoiseshell pattern.

"When I turned little Burrito over I was so surprised," Henry told ABC News. "I've examined thousands of kittens while working at AWA and they are so rare that he may be the only male tortoiseshell I'll ever see again."

Because of his rare coloring, Burrito has been sought after by hundreds of people throughout the world looking to adopt him.

"We're over 300 inquires," Maya Richmond, executive director of AWA, told "We had an inquiry from Canada and one from Florida."

Burrito won't be eligible to leave the shelter until he is 8 weeks old, but Richmond said news of his unique color has generated "a lot of wonderful exposure" for the AWA, which she hopes will help other kittens find homes.


"We are entering what we call 'kitten season' as we get so many kittens turned in during the summer months," Richmond said. "We set the goal of finding homes to 300 cats and kittens during these months."

She added that Burrito will be available for the standard adoption fee of $95, but the shelter is still attempting to determine which of his many suitors will ultimately take him home.

"We are contemplating how to be fair with everyone who wants to adopt Burrito and his littermates," Richmond said.

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