For the Arizona Humane Society, there’s never been a shortage of cats available for adoption. And this year, intake of cats has been “unparalleled,” said Kimberly Noetzel, spokeswoman for the Humane Society.
She said a combination of more cats being given up by their owners and more kittens and stray cats being turned in has led to a dramatic spike in the number of cats available for adoption this year.
From November 2004 to June, 30, 2005, the Humane Society took in 16,312 cats. But for the same eight-month period this year, more than 23,938 cats had been turned in as of June 23.
“We’re just beside ourselves with what we’ve been experiencing,” Noetzel said. “People are just surrendering cats and kittens like there’s no tomorrow.”
More than 800 cats per week are turned in at the Sunnyslope Facility in Phoenix, the only Humane Society location where the public can turn in the animals.
Skye Campbell, a client service specialist there, said most of the animals turned in are cats or purebred animals.
“My hope for the future is that more people would spay and neuter their animals. Then, there would be less of a chance of this happening,” Campbell said.
The sharp increase in animals also could be due to this year’s unusually long breeding season, brought on by a mild winter, she said.
So far, the Humane Society hasn’t had to euthanize any of the animals brought to the shelter, but that could change if adoptions don’t keep up with the rising numbers.
The facilities are “very full,” Noetzel said. “We’re hustling and doing the best we can to get everybody in foster care, spayed or neutered or up for adoption, but it’s tough.”
The Humane Society will continue the discounted fees for cat adoptions until the end of July.
The organization normally offers discounted rates in June, when litters of kittens are brought in during the peak of breeding season.
Adoption specialists at the Humane Society’s East Valley Adoption Center in Gilbert say they’ve been successful in placing a few cats each day, but they are saddened sometimes by the reasons cats end up at the shelter.
“A lot of people figure ‘oh, I’ll just bring it back,’ ” if they are tired of the animal, said Candy Onderlinde, an adoption specialist.
Cats and kittens are available for adoption at various locations, and cost between $25 and $65.
The fee includes feline leukemia testing, spay or neuter surgery and vaccinations.
Felines: Prices for cats/kittens range from $25 to $65. The adoption centers also feature a “twofur-one” deal; get two cats/kittens for the price of one
Qualifications: Adopters must be at least 18, show a valid and current ID, proof of address, and take part in a pre-screening process. Those living in a rental property must demonstrate pets are welcome.
Center locations and times
Phoenix: AHS Nina Mason Pulliam Campus for Compassion, 1521 W. Dobbins Road. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tues.-Sun.
Gilbert: AHS East Valley Adoption Center (inside the Gilbert PETCO) 1015 E. Baseline Rd.. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
Chandler: PetSmart, 855 N. 54th Street. Open: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wed.-Sat.; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Mesa: PetSmart, 4920 S. Power Road. Open: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wed.-Sat.; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun.
Information: (602) 395-3874 or visit www.azhumane.org.