Here kitty, kitty, kitty!

At the Tazewell Animal Protective Society in Pekin, here kitty, kitty, kitty could result in an onslaught of furry felines looking for families to love and love them back.

TAPS Executive Director Holly Crotty said Monday that hundreds of kittens have been dropped off at the shelter since kitten season started in April, and “It’s not slowing down.” The shelter is in need of eligible people to adopt the kittens and foster families to place them with until they are adopted. The shelter is running a cat and kitten special through Saturday. The adoption fee is $20 with an approved application for adoption.

“We are at the height of kitten season, and almost every kitten that comes into the shelter has some sort of upper respiratory infection because they’ve been living abandoned somewhere,” said Crotty. “And so the kittens are coming in extremely sick. We can’t take care of all of these animals and their vetting needs without the community support.

“Oh my goodness — it’s staggering numbers (of kittens coming in). Today alone we have 16 coming in this afternoon,” Crotty said Monday. “It’s easily hundreds of kittens that have been walked in so far this season. We find foster homes for them, we have them here at the shelter and we try to get them in and vetted and adopted as quickly as possible. On Friday, in addition to what we knew were coming that day, we had nine walked in by people who found them abandoned.”

Crotty said the kitten season typically runs from April through summer, but Crotty said they have been getting kittens through December in the past few years. She said the shelter is still taking in three to five pregnant cats a week.

“We try to tell people we’re at capacity and we can’t help,” said Crotty. “One woman on Friday said, ‘Well I’m just going to dump it in your parking lot and you’ll have to deal with it.’”

Crotty said there is a simple solution to curtailing the birth of unwanted animals.

“People just need to understand that there are low cost spay/neuter programs out there, and we have a low cost spay neuter program here,” said Crotty. “People need to come in and sign up their animals and get them spayed or neutered to counteract this.”

To foster or adopt an animal, the shelter requires that any other animals in the home be up-to-date on vaccines. The shelter also talks with the landlord of the applicant to make sure animals are approved for the rental property, verifies home owner applications with the Tazewell County Assessor’s Office Web Site and requires two personal references if the person adopting has not had an animal in the past five years. The shelter also checks with the veterinarian of those who already have animals to make sure they are responsible.

The added kittens have placed a burden on the shelter. Crotty is planning an online auction in the next few weeks to raise funds for the shelter. Details of that will be forthcoming after they have been set. There will be more than 80 animal related items up for auction.

Rockin’ for TAPS, one of the shelters annual fundraisers will be from 3 to 10 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the Pekin Boat Club. There will be five bands. Dogs are welcome if they are comfortable around a lot of people and noise does not bother them. Shelter dogs will be there as well.

To adopt, provide a foster home, donate, or inquire about spay and neutering programs call TAPS at 353-8277 or go to 100 TAPS Lane, Pekin.

Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin