Magic is a spunky black kitten who looks like he’s wearing a tuxedo. He’s playful and curious and loves to purr. Yet the 10-week-old kitten has been sitting at the Arizona Humane Society Campus for Compassion for weeks while he waits for a home.
“Typically, we have no problem placing kittens with new families. Everybody wants a kitten,” said spokeswoman Kim Noetzel.
“But what we’re experiencing this year is disturbing. Little kittens like Magic who are adorable and have great personalities are sitting for weeks at a time. And every day they sit they get a little older and a little less kitten-like,” she said.
As the Arizona Humane Society faces what could be the biggest cat overload in its history — 212 felines were waiting for homes on Friday — its workers are forced to bring up the word no one wants to hear: euthanization.
People are bringing in boxes of newborn kittens — and some of them, just weeks old, have to be euthanized.
“When we start running out of foster homes, we don’t have space, then we have to start euthanizing adorable little kittens and it’s heartbreaking,” Noetzel said.
State law prohibits shelters from placing animals up for adoption before eight weeks — the time when they can be safely spayed or neutered.
Foster families generally take care of the tiny kittens until they’re older, but those houses, too, are full.
Noetzel is making a desperate plea: If you are giving up a litter of kittens — just wait a few weeks.
“We desperately need you to keep them until they’re eight weeks old and weigh two pounds,” she said.
Meanwhile, she’s also encouraging cat lovers to adopt, and the shelter is running two promotions.
Every cat adopted through Labor Day will receive a free microchip.
And if adoptees want to take home a second cat or kitten, they can get it for half-price.
“We have adult cats, just sitting there with hopeless looks on their faces. Then in the kennel next to them, we’re unloading yet another new litter of kittens,” Noetzel said. “It’s so bad this year, and we’re not even to June yet.”
And she reiterated the “spay and neuter” mantra she’s been repeating for 10 years.
“I don’t know what we need to say or do to help people get it,” she said. “I don’t know what it’s going to take to prompt people to spay and neuter and make a lifetime commitment to their animals.”
To see the cats and kittens available for adoption, visit:
For information about adopting pets, call (602) 997-7586.
• The Arizona Humane Society takes in 110 cats and kittens a day — 770 a week.
• If the cat intake trend continues through the summer, the society expects to take in more than 11,220 cats and kittens by Labor Day.
• About 60 percent of the cats arriving at the society are turned in by owners who say they can’t or won’t any longer care for them.