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This week's column on Adopt-A-Cat Month is by guest writer Julie Smith, public affairs coordinator for Salt Lake County Animal Services.

June marks the 17th annual Adopt-A-Cat Month. The monthlong campaign is sponsored by 9-Lives Cat Food and the American Humane Association and is dedicated to finding homes for the millions of lost, unwanted and abandoned cats and kittens at animal shelters nationwide.Throughout the year Salt Lake County Animal Services takes in thousands of homeless kittens and cats that are abandoned or lost. Hard work from staff members is a daily commitment in finding homes for the animals and in educating the public in responsible pet ownership.

June is a particularly difficult time. This is the peak of the feline breeding season, leaving a large number of kittens and cats in need of good homes.

Unfortunately, shelters are up against big odds; there are far more cats and kittens than homes, resulting in the destruction of many fine animals. The problem intensifies because many cat owners do not have their pets sterilized, producing an ever-growing number of unwanted kittens.

Cats are playful, intelligent, independent and require less attention than other pets, which is a plus for working people, single-parent households, seniors and most children. They are great companions, yet need little more than a regular supply of food, a warm, soft place to nap, and a human friend to cozy up to now and then.

Right now you'll find plenty of fine, healthy cats and kittens at the shelter. All adopters will receive a collar and identification tag, a cat carrier, free health exam with their own veterinarian and a packet full of cat treats - so come by during June and adopt a cat - or two.

The shelter is located at 511 W. 3900 South. Call 264-2267 for more information.

If you have a question about health, behavior problems, laws, etc., regarding wild or domestic animals, please write Leslie Kelson-Probert, Salt Lake County Animal Services, 511 W. 3900 South, Salt Lake City UT 84123 or call her at 264-2247.