The heat is on – speaking climate-ly and biologically. Spring brings warmer temperatures and that means an abundance of kittens and puppies being born. Due to Phoenix's nearly year-round warmth, the Valley is basically always in breeding season, which sadly means even more abandoned or feral babies.
For more than 60 years, the Arizona Humane Society have ponied up their resources to help these younglings find safe shelter, nutrition and medical care. The numbers are staggering – AZHS takes in an average of 16,453 cats and dogs each year. Through adoption, rescue and placement efforts, they save an average of 13,050 lives per year, all the while providing affordable veterinary services to 19,800 pets and helping struggling pet parents keep 3,500 pets in their homes.
For all their superhero-sized efforts provided through their clinics, AZHS still relies heavily on public help. This spring season, they're especially in need of fosters and volunteers to help with the influx of babies. Here are a few ways you can help:
Don't Kit-nap Kittens
Find a clowder of kittens in your backyard? Leave them alone: mom is likely nearby foraging for dinner. However, if 8 hours pass and still no mom, the kittens may need your help. The best thing you can do is care for them in your home. AZHS can provide care kits and help find homes once they're of age. azhumane.org/foundkittens
Become a Foster
Fosters are in high demand! Take an online orientation, submit your application and you could be fostering dogs or cats within 24 hours! Bottle baby workshops that offer hands-on training are also available if you're ready to graduate from self-feeding kittens to younger babes. azhumane.org/foster
Put Your Pets on Birth Control
Heed the famous parting words of game show host and animal advocate Bob Barker: "Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered." Meanwhile, Maricopa County is home to about 250,000 feral or free-roaming outdoor cats. To help keep that population down (and avoid overuse of euthanasia for the many stray cats brought into shelters), AZHS has partnered with several organizations to implement TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) programs in communities throughout the Valley. To learn more, visit somanycats.org.
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