Inundated again with the fruits of "kitten season," Lee County Domestic Animal Services is reaching out to the community for help.
The shelter, of course, needs would-be pet owners looking for a "forever friend" - that's a given.
But also needed are "foster parents" who can care for kittens until they are ready for adoption, as well as donations of pet food to help keep all the extra animals fed.
For those looking to adopt, Animal Services is offering a discounted price promotion this month. The "adoption" fee for kittens is $35, or $8 for cats 6 months and older, with the usual two-for-one program also in effect.
"The adoption fee will still include the same veterinary services such as spay/neuter surgery, age-appropriate vaccinations, de-worming, flea treatment, feline aids and leukemia test, Lee County license if 3 months or older, microchip ID, 10-day health guarantee and more," a release from the agency states.
The estimated value is $500.
Animals available for adoption may be found online at leelostpets.com . The site is updated hourly and applications for adoption or fostering may be downloaded from the site as well.
The adoption center on Banner Drive in Fort Myers is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
"Fosters" are provided with pet food and all veterinary care for their temporary charges.
For those who want to help with pet food, donations may be dropped off in the blue bins at any participating Publix. Pet food may also be brought to the shelter at 5600 Banner Drive. It's next to the Lee County Sheriff's Office off Six Mile Cypress Parkway.
Purina Kitten Chow and any brand of pate canned cat food are requested.
The county shelter is not the only one affected by the combination of "kitten season" and the loss of seasonal volunteers and contributions.
Area not-for-profit shelters need some help as well.
In addition to adoptive pet "parents," the Gulf Coast Humane Society, at 2010 Arcadia St., Fort Myers, is looking for volunteers and donations. The shelter receives no tax dollars nor does it receive funding from the Humane Society of the United States or ASPCA.
Monetary donations are always needed and the shelter has an immediate need for Pedigree canned wet dog food and for cat litter.
To volunteer, view adoptable pets, fill out an application or make a donation, visit the GCHS website, gulfcoasthumanesociety.org .
The Animal Refuge Center, at 18011 Old Bayshore Road, North Fort Myers, also needs help - both adoptive and foster pet parents, on-site and offsite volunteers, and donations.
To adopt or for information on ARC's new foster program, visit animalrefugecenter.com and click on the pet search where you can view adoptable pets, find adoption information and adoption applications.
To make a monetary donation, simply visit the site and click "donate." Volunteer opportunities and applications may be found under "get involved."
For those who would like to help by making a donation of goods, needed items include canned Pedigree dog food, Friskies or 9-Lives cat food, Kuranda cat towers, garbage bags, old sheets and towels; leashes and paper towels.
Toys are always welcome, too.
If you have been thinking about adopting a "forever friend," now is a great time.
It's also a critical time for donations.
We urge those who can to answer the call.
- Breeze editorial