Help Wanted: Must Love Puppies, Kittens

Los Angeles' animal shelters have too much of a good thing -- they're flooded with puppies and kittens.

You can help by providing foster care for the animals.

Many of the animals were brought to the shelters by people who could no longer afford to keep them.

"Unfortunately, we don't have enough foster homes for a lot of these babies, and ultimately they are euthanized because we can't keep them in a shelter environment," said Samantha Westbrook of the Animal Care Center. "They're just going to get sick."

Foster parenting for a kitten or puppy means you're taking over the role of mother for the first weeks of life. The most important qualification is patience.

"You need to be up during the night to feed, take care of them, help them go to the bathroom, that kind of thing," Westbrook said. "It does take a lot of commitment from people."

Approved volunteers are trained by animal services. The department also provides food and veterinary care.

Last year, the city's six shelters received more than 7,000 newborn orphan kittens and 600 puppies.

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