Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department in need of foster homes

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department is in need of fosters after what’s shaping up to be a record-breaking year for animal intakes.

Last year they admitted just over 2,000 kittens into their shelter, and they are right on track to surpass that this year with 981 kittens currently in their shelter. This is a 38% increase from last year at this time.

“We’ve got hundreds of cats on hand at the moment, with those mostly underaged kittens right now,” said Valerie Greif, the Community Engagement Coordinator.

They are doing anything they can to encourage more people to foster kittens.

Greif said many things are contributing to the spike in animal intakes, but the biggest thing is their limited outreach during the pandemic.

“We’re seeing more kittens than usual it is probably due to COVID, during COVID, our facility, as well as multiple other facilities around Albuquerque, were not able to help with public spay and neuter so we are seeing the effects of that,” Greif said.

If they can’t find enough fosters, they will be forced to reach out to community partners and have them help take some of the kittens.

“We were bracing for the increase that’s why we are asking the community to help us as much as possible. We are gearing towards a pretty rough kitten season this year during the summer months,” she said.

Fosters have to be 18 years old and pass a basic background check.

“If they are kittens, sometimes we have kittens that need bottle feeding every 2-4 hours so that is a big commitment versus kittens that are eating on their own, not so much of a commitment but they still need socialization and that care,” said Greif.

Animal Welfare will provide any food or supplies needed to foster. People can foster more than one kitty litter if they have the time and space for them. They are also looking for puppy fosters.