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Spring is upon us and with that comes kitten season, with litters of kittens born outside to the hundreds of thousands of homeless street cats in our city.

Where do these stray, homeless and feral cats come from? Stray and homeless cats were most likely once someone’s pets. If rescued soon enough they can become a person’s pet again. Ferals are typically born outside, and not socialized to humans early enough.

In Ahwatukee Foothills, we are seeing an increase in abandoned cats in apartment and residential communities, as well as businesses. These cats tend to live in groups centered around availability of shelter, food and water. Removing the cats is costly but, most importantly, is not the correct management tool. It does not work due to the “vacuum effect,” as irresponsible pet owners continue to abandon cats or leave unsterilized pet cats outdoors, who move in, filling the void.

The solution is simple, but it does not include doing nothing. It begins with you getting involved and doing simple acts to help. If you are aware of homeless cats near your home or workplace, or you are caring for homeless cats, here are some resources if you want to help make a positive difference in the life of these street kitties.

• Visit www.adlaz.org or call the Spay and Neuter Hotline for more information at (602) 265-7729.

• If you are a property manager, HOA manager, or would like a free cat management workshop in your community, visit http://www.thefoundationforhomelesscats.org or call (602) 410-2972.

• If you would like to volunteer to foster a rescued cat or kitten, or adopt a new cat or kitten, please contact Cactus Cats at (480) 814-8801 or e-mail cactuscats@cox.net, or visit us at the Ahwatukee Foothills PETCO, 5011 E. Ray Road, Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Ahwatukee Foothills resident Denise Cote volunteers with Cactus Cats. Reach her at cactuscats@cox.net.

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