Los Angeles animal shelters are being flooded -- with kittens.
"This is the most intense kitten season we've ever seen," Brenda Barnette, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services, said in a statement Wednesday. "Intake has been averaging 22% higher for kittens and 14% higher for cats this year, which translates to more than 3,000 additional kittens and cats coming to our centers than we saw in 2018."
The city agency is teaming up with the Best Friends Animal Society to encourage Angelenos to adopt kittens, and it has set a goal of 165 adoptions per month through the rest of the year.
According to LAAS, its centers took in 7,002 cats and kittens in May and June, and officials attributed the spike to an abnormally large birthing season.
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"With so many cats and kittens entering the shelter system, Los Angeles pets need you now more than ever before," said Jennifer Pimentel, executive director for Best Friends.
Adoptions will be free for kittens and cats at LAAS centers through 2019. Best Friends offers feline adoptions for $25 or less at its two adoption centers -- the Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Mission Hills and NKLA Pet Adoption Center in West Los Angeles.
"In a city of 4 million, thousands of people have already raised their hand to help. We need just a few more," Pimentel said.