Arizona Humane Society shelters inundated with cats

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The following is a news release from the Arizona Humane Society.

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Humane Society (AHS) desperately needs the help of Valley cat lovers. Both AHS shelters are overflowing with cats and kittens. In fact, the organization has so many cats at present time that it has had to post a sign outside of its admissions area informing those who drop off cats and/or kittens that those pets may run the risk of being humanely euthanized.

"Just in the past week alone, we have taken in 500 cats and kittens," said Shannon Valenzuela, director of shelter operations for the Arizona Humane Society. "The lack of cat adopters makes the situation even more crucial. We haven't had to euthanize a healthy, adoptable animal for space in nearly seven years - a trend we definitely want to continue."

From August to September, the nonprofit organization had already taken in more than 2,200 cats and kittens. The longer these cats wait to find their forever homes, they are more likely to develop upper respiratory infections (URI), a condition highly contagious to cats, yet curable.

The AHS once again is offering a half price adoption special on cats and kittens through the month of September. The reduced fee still includes the pet's spay or neuter surgery, first vaccinations, a collar, ID tag, pet carrier and follow-up veterinary exam.

"Finding these cats homes is essential and the outcome our organization prefers," said Valenzuela. "We hope that this adoption special will bring in those people who have been on the fence about adopting a cat or kitten. If you absolutely must surrender your pet, please make our shelter your last resort. Instead start with friends, family or coworkers to see if you can re-home your pet."

If adopting a cat is not an option, you can help the AHS in other ways such as becoming a foster volunteer, having your pets spayed or neutered and/or donating funds to help the organization keep up with the costs to serve the animals in its care. AHS foster volunteers provide a bridge to the adoption floor for homeless pets by giving them extra care and attention outside of the kennel environment. In the case of cats and kittens, some may simply need a little extra time to wean and/or gain weight before being spayed or neutered and put up for adoption. Others may need treatment for URI and other conditions. Spaying/neutering your pets also helps the situation by preventing pet overpopulation, therefore reducing the number of unwanted pets. AHS' two public clinics both offer low-cost surgeries ranging from $38 to $102. These services are available to anyone regardless of income.

To adopt a cat or kitten, please visit either AHS's Sunnyslope Facility (9226 North 13th Avenue, Phoenix) and Campus for Compassion (1521 West Dobbins Road, Phoenix) anytime from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The organization also has offsite adoption locations in PetSmart stores throughout the valley. For locations and hours, please visit .

To learn more about the foster volunteer program, please call 602-997-7586 ext. 1040 or visit .