It is puppy and kitten season in Texarkana, which means tons of litters are being dumped at our animal shelter. You can adopt a pet from the shelter right now and the fees to pay to spay and neuter, vaccinate and microchip your new pet will be paid for by the Texarkana Friends of the Shelter.

You can adopt a cat or kitten for $20. Dogs and puppies are just $40 each.

The good news, the puppy and kitten featured in this story have been adopted. Even more good news, if you think these two are adorable and you want a pet just like them, there are many more just waiting for you at the shelter.

It seems hard to believe that such adorable puppies and kittens could be homeless. They are either abandoned by their owners or found roaming as strays. Many are born in the shelter because their mother was surrendered by an owner who didn't want her anymore "since she got herself pregnant," or for whatever other reason is given.

Who could possibly give up such an adorable face like this? It happens, every day. For whatever reason that is given when the animal is surrendered, the animals are taken in by the shelter employees and put into a kennel or cage depending on the type of animal and size. Some arrive at the shelter pregnant, especially this time of year. April and May are the spring litter months when shelters are inundated with litters of puppies and kittens.

That means the shelter has to make a choice to either keep the litter until they are old enough to receive vaccinations and be adopted out or, make the difficult decision to euthanize the animals. Space and resources are usually very limited. Can you imagine how horrible it would be if you were the person having to take all of the factors into account and then making those decisions of life or death? Even if the litter is put into a kennel to wait until they are old enough to vaccinate and adopt, there is no guarantee that they will survive. Puppies and kittens are like little sponges, they pick up everything. Illnesses, diseases, bacteria and parasites are so tough on a little body, one that hasn't gotten any antibodies other than what they get from nursing. If the mother hasn't been vaccinated and kept healthy, it is extremely hard for the litter to survive.

Our animal shelter is much like the other shelters in this region. They all fight the same battles. How can you help? The very first thing is to spay and neuter your pets. If everyone did, our shelters would not be so packed full of unwanted animals. Also, make sure your pets are vaccinated yearly. Keeping up with that responsibility will also greatly decrease the diseases that rampantly spread through our community and the shelter. The third thing you can do is to have your pet microchipped. If your pet becomes lost and is taken to the shelter, a vet clinic or a rescue, once they are scanned you will be contacted immediately.

If you would like to volunteer or discover other ways you can help our local shelter, here is how they can be reached:

Please visit the shelter's Facebook page and help get the word out by sharing their posts.

Or visit the Animal Care and Adoption Center at 203 Harrison St., Texarkana, Ark. 71854.  They are open Monday through Friday from 11AM and 5PM and Saturday from 11AM to 2PM.