The Payson Humane Society animal shelter is experiencing a baby boom of puppies and kittens.
Shelter manager Ellie Watson is asking Rim Country residents to help provide either permanent or foster homes for the growing number of puppies and kittens coming into the humane society.
Watson said there are 24 kittens in foster care, ranging in age from only 4 days old to 7 weeks.
"More are steadily coming in," she said.
The shelter is housing two mother cats and a total of seven kittens.
"That puts our cat house about at capacity," Watson said.
According to information from the Payson Humane Society, if kittens come into the shelter as orphans and are under 7 weeks old, they need a foster home until they are old enough to survive in the shelter. Those providing fostering must be willing to give gentle, loving care and socialization skills, until the kittens can be vaccinated and have strong immune systems.
Kittens coming into the shelter with the mother cat have a better chance of survival, but foster homes provide a safer environment.
Watson said there are currently three litters of puppies at the shelter. She said they will be medium to large in size, but are a border collie-Lab mix, so are also likely to be very intelligent.
One litter of puppies arrived with their mother, and the shelter staff would like to place the whole family in a foster home, until weaning is completed.
It costs $70 to adopt either a puppy or a kitten, but the shelter does not keep a waiting list, Watson said.
To become a foster home for the animals in need, the society requires an application be completed and a home visit conducted. Once a home is accepted for foster care, the society provides everything that is needed to care for the animals, including food, bedding, toys and leashes, Watson said.
To help reduce the number of unwanted puppies and kittens, the Payson Humane Society encourages everyone to have their pets spayed or neutered. It has several programs available to make this as easy as possible.
There are coupons available that provide a $20 rebate on any animal altered. Another program, just for dogs over 45 pounds, makes spaying and neutering very low cost.
The "Trap, Neuter, Return" program provided by the Payson Friends of Ferals is helping to humanely reduce the number of feral cats in the area.
The Arizona Humane Society also brings a mobile spay and neuter clinic to the area. The next one will be at Bashas' June 19, 20 and 21.
For more information, call the shelter at (928) 474-5590.