SWANZEY, N.H. (AP) – High gas prices, the faltering economy and mortgage foreclosures are combining to help cause a kitty crisis at the Monadnock Humane Society.

“We have kittens everywhere you look,” said Donna Parker, the agency’s director of development.

The Society shelter on Route 10 is home to nearly 300 cats, from newborn kittens to elderly cats. It also has about 85 kittens and their mothers placed with foster families, who take in a litter and their mothers and nurture them until they’re old enough to put up for adoption – about 8 weeks.

Parker says it’s the time of season for kittens to be born, but this year, the economy is helping boost the number that end up in the shelter.

For many people, the slowing economy and high fuel prices have strained tight budgets and families have had to surrender their pets to save money. And, Parker said, families forced out of their homes by foreclosures often bring their pets to the Society, or simply leave them behind.

“We’ve had a lot of strays coming in,” Parker said.

She said the Society has never seen so many surrendered or abandoned animals. Now, the group is looking for more pet foster families and for donations.

“This situation has put a huge strain on our budget,” said Parker. “We need help – mostly monetary help.”

The Society also is seeing more dogs, rabbits, hamsters and other pets coming through the doors, but the increase mostly involves cats.

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