A recent visit to the Payson Humane Society provided proof that there is an overabundance of kittens.
Many mama cats are in foster homes while their kittens are nursing. When old enough, they will come to the shelter and, hopefully, be adopted into a loving forever home.
Because of the overflow of kittens and adult cats, the Kitty Palace has just opened. This is a free-standing shed specifically designed for the kittens. You can stand just inside and watch through the screen as the kittens play. Choose one or two that you might like to add to your family.
Approximately 1,700 dogs and cats were turned into the Payson Humane Society during the last fiscal year, which ended June 30 -- 320 lost pets were reclaimed and 621 pets were adopted through May.
A record number of animals were turned into the shelter during May of 2007 -- 216 in one month. Think of that for a town the size of Payson. That is a record of which none of us can be proud.
The Payson Humane Society does everything in its power to find homes for all these worthy pets, but there are way more pets than willing adopters.
Special incentive programs are being offered. All animals are spayed or neutered, have their shots and a microchip.
If you have love to spare, adopt a second pet or a third. Dogs and cats love having playmates. All kittens and puppies are $70.
Adult dogs adopted by adults over 60 years of age are $25.
A dog over five years of age can be adopted for $30.
Adopt one dog and receive the second one for $20.
This is a great way to adopt two dogs or cats that came into the shelter with a best friend. Keep them together.
Cats that are over one year can be adopted by adults over 60 years of age for $10.
These incentives are available for the month of July.
For more information, call the Payson Humane Society, (928) 474-5590, or visit their Web site: www.paysonhumanesociety.com. The shelter is open every day except Sunday and Wednesday.
Speaking of microchips, I took my new little girl to the Payson Humane Society for a chip. For $40, Lacy had the chip implanted and they will register all my information with AVID. She now has a tag to be attached to her collar, stating that she has the microchip and the 800 number to call if someone finds her. The information center will notify me that my Lacy has been found.
The microchip is implanted between the shoulder blades on dogs and cats. On horses, it is placed on the left side neck. Microchips are also put in birds, exotic animals and even sea creatures. The procedure is quick and easy. The chip is the size of a small grain of rice. The microchip only works if the animal is scanned. Whenever an animal is found, it should be taken to a veterinarian or shelter. These places have the scanners and are supposed to scan every lost animal that comes in. If they do not do it, be sure you request that it be done. My little Lacy is an escape artist. I am doing everything possible to keep her in. But before the chip, I worried that she might be lost forever.
Even if an animal is found dead, it should be scanned and the owner notified. The Sheriff's deputies and the animal control people of Gila County and Payson take the animals they pick up to the Payson Humane Society and immediately scan them.
The most important thing to consider when getting your pet microchipped is that the chip can be read by a universal scanner. AVID and Home Again are the chips most widely used and universally read. All the veterinarians in our area use one or the other of these. Through your vet or at the Humane Society, get your pet microchipped.
There was an item on the news recently about a small dog being found in Phoenix. He was scanned and found to belong to a family in Las Vegas. How he got here may never be learned, but at least he was able to get home to his family. Ellie at the Payson Humane Society said they fairly often find dogs and cats with chips, which makes it so easy to find their families. Some of these pets have been lost while on a trip, so they can be a long way from home.
As I head out on a road trip with my three dogs, it is comforting to know that I have done all I can to get them back, if any of them should get lost. I have special traveling collars for them that contain the rabies, license and microchip tags. Also, you should write a cell phone or contact number and tape it to a tag or the collar. And do not forget to take along updated health records for each pet.
I am always amazed at the amount of water my three can drink in a day. Check those water dishes often. Outside water dishes attract bugs of all sizes and descriptions. They also get tipped over. Be sure to clean the dishes every day and fill with fresh water. Your pets will be forever grateful, even though they may fail to tell you.
-- Christy Powers can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by snail mail at HC1 Box 210, Strawberry, AZ 85544.