Summertime means an influx of kittens, and at the rate the El Dorado County Animal Shelter is receiving them, the shelter would need to adopt out each day the number the staff normally adopts out in a week.
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The shelter will have up to 30 kittens for adoption continuously through November, said Alli Lozoya, a supervisor at the shelter, with more than 150 more being fostered. The shelter will take in up to 40 new baby felines each day of the summer, she said.
“This year, we have six to 10 adoptions a week,” Lozoya said. “We should have six a day to keep up.”
The “open door mission” shelter adopts out kittens that are at least 8 weeks old and weigh 2 pounds. They are spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated, and are “ready to go,” she said. They also go through a veterinary check by Dr. Shirley Harman, a local veterinarian, who works at the shelter on Tuesdays.
Though it normally costs $80 to adopt a kitten, fees have been reduced to $40 temporarily for the season. Adult cats are $20. The cats go through the same process as kittens before adoption.
In many cases, PAWED — People for Animal Welfare in El Dorado County — will pay part of the adoption fees. For nearly all the felines older than a year, half of the adoption fee is paid.
“Kittens — the shelter is overrun with people dumping litters of kittens at the shelter with mom cats and without moms,” said Teri Mizuhara, a board member of PAWED. “Sometimes several litters come in during the course of a day. There is a huge need for foster families to assist the shelter in caring for kittens until they are able to be fixed and adopted out. Without foster families to assist the shelter, kittens face an uncertain future due to the vast numbers arriving every day.”
PAWED helps the shelter in other ways, too, with both cats and dogs the shelter adopts out. Other help includes managing the shelter volunteers, who assist staff as needed in “cleaning kennels (cats and dogs), exercise dogs, wash dogs, autoclave the surgical packs for the surgeries, repair and clean dog runs, purchase equipment and supplies,” and more, Mizuhara noted in an e-mail to the Mountain Democrat. “We recently rocked the back dog run and fixed pot holes in the dog runs.”
A mobile clinic is also operated by PAWED with Harman volunteering for medical services. The clinic currently resides at the shelter, but in the past has gone to Georgetown and Somerset to do spay and neuter clinics, Mizhara said. But, after vandalism to the RV, the money instead went to other programs, including spay and neuter coupons.
The “friends of the shelter” also “provide funds for the Shelter Pet Medical fund,” Mizuhara said. “When the shelter runs out of funds they can still get animals additional medical care beyond what the county vet can do.” In addition to the 1-year-old-plus cats, PAWED helps with adoption fees with dogs older than 5 years.
The volunteers also help in fostering animals that there is no space for in the shelter. “Many PAWED volunteers also foster dogs, cats, kittens and a variety of other animals (goats, horses, etc) for the shelter,” she wrote.
If you are looking for a new furry friend to add to your household, the El Dorado County Animal Shelter is open from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and can be contacted at 530-621-7631. For more information about PAWED, visit pawedpets.org.