Every spring thousands of homeless kittens come into animal shelters in Maricopa County. Most do not get out alive. Before temperatures rise and cats go into heat, the Spay Neuter Hotline is asking people to get companion cats fixed, and also take advantage of Animal Defense League of Arizona's Trap Neuter Return (TNR) program to sterilize stray and free-roaming cats in Valley neighborhoods. Few cats are in heat in January, but the number begins to increase in February. By April and May shelters are inundated with kittens.

Join the Animal Defense League of Arizona's Spay Neuter Hotline in its campaign to "Beat the Heat in 2012." The hotline offers Trap Neuter Return to assist with reducing the free-roaming cat population. The hotline also offers referrals and information to low-cost spay neuter veterinarians for companion animals. Periodically, there are free programs available for those in need of financial assistance. Call (602) 265-SPAY (7729) or visit the website at www.SpayNeuterHotline.org.

• Beverly Stidham, (480) 898-7924 or bstidham@ahwatukee.com

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