Map: AHS Sunnyslope facility
PHOENIX -- Even though its shelters are overflowing with cats and kittens -- or more likely because they're filled with felines -- the Arizona Humane Society is determined to Leave No Feline Behind.
"We are absolutely bombarded," said AHS spokeswoman Bretta Nelson.
"We're taking in about 200 animals a day. Right now there is no space for cats and kittens."
It's not uncommon to see lots of kittens this time of year. Summer is breed season for cats, with females coming into heat every two or three weeks.
AHS says a cat or kitten comes through its doors every seven minutes, and right now those animals are being turned away because the shelters are filled to capacity. There's just no room.
As part of the Leave No Feline Behind campaign, AHS is waiving its usual adoption fees for cats and kittens this summer, asking only a monetary donation. The amount is up to you.
Average adoption fees for cats run about $50, although it costs much more to care for them. There is a limit of two animals per household.
But it's not just forever families AHS needs. The organization is desperate for foster homes for its felines.
"Those foster homes expand the walls of our non-profit organization," Nelson said.
Time in foster care gives kittens the time they need to gain a little weight and get big enough to be spayed or neutered. AHS takes care of all the medical needs. You provide the home, play time and some TLC.
In most cases, pets are with their fosters families for just a couple of weeks before they go up for adoption.
"Be a foster parent to these wonderful kitties and let us get our doors back open to bringing in more cats and kittens," Nelson said. AHS is hosting a foster orientation Sunday, noon- 3p.m., at its Sunnyslope facility, 9226 N. 13th Ave., Phoenix. There is another orientation planned for July 22. You can sign up online at AZHumane.org.
While AHS has hundreds of kittens ready to homes, they also have adult cats.
"Don’t overlook the older ones," Nelson pleaded. "They're wonderful, as well."
3TV and azfamily.com are proud to once again partner with AHS for Project 121: Action for Animals.
There’s much more to caring for homeless animals than many might think. It not simply feeding them and making sure they have enough water.
“It’s not as easy as getting them to the adoption floor,” Nelson said during last year's campaign.
Many animals need to spend some time in foster care before they can put up for adoption. Some require medical care that can range from standard vaccination to treatment for a basic cold to major surgery.
All of the animals that spend time in the care of AHS are spayed or neutered before they go home with their new families. They're also up-to-date on their vaccinations.
AHS serves 46,000 animals each year, and they rely solely on private donations to do it.
Project 121 is one way AHS raises that much-needed money.
Last year, the 121-minute pet telethon, the culminating event of thee-month Project 121 campaign, raised an incredible $421,970.
Nelson said 85 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to the animals.