Los Angeles' six shelters have already taken in more than 2,600 kittens since April 1, an increase of about 400 compared with the previous year, city animals officials said.
Kittens are born during warm and dry seasons of the year, usually in the summer, overwhelming shelters and animal rescue organizations during this time. The season usually lasts until September, with an average of 9,000 to 10,000 kittens coming into the shelters, not including adult cats, said Jan Selder, a director with the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services.
Animal Services officials joined the Amanda Foundation, a rescue group, Thursday to urge the public to open their homes and volunteer their time to foster the kittens, or to donate milk, food and other supplies.
"We need help from the public to foster all these kittens and get them old enough to be spayed or neutered and then adopted into loving homes,'' said Veronica Perry, city rescue program coordinator.
Kittens that are not eventually fostered could be euthanized, depending on space, Selder said.
But Los Angeles animal shelters have been ``lucky'' so far this year, and has only euthanized some kittens that were extremely sick or injured, Selder said.
The shelters have about 800 foster parents, up by about 35 percent over the previous year, she said.
Volunteers would need to bottle-feed kittens every three hours during their first four weeks, or when the kittens are 1 pound. When kittens are 1 to 2 pounds and up to 8 weeks old, they need to be fed canned food every three hours and have opportunities to socialize with their human caretakers and children.
Selder said the public can also help by adopting adult cats to make room for the kittens.
People interested in fostering kittens can fill out an application at laanimalservices.com or call the shelters to ask about the program.
Training will be provided to potential foster parents.
Copyright 2015 FOX 11 Los Angeles | Download our mobile app for breaking news alerts or to watch FOX 11 News | Follow us on Facebook , Twitter and YouTube.