Friday, March 19, 2010

Kitten Season Is Here!

It’s that time of year when calls start coming in with stories of kittens on back porches, decks, cellar          windowsills, hiding under houses/apartment complexes, and sleeping in bushes. Spring and summer months are the busiest for animal rescues, with, literally, boxes of unwanted kittens flooding shelters. Unwelcomed litters of kittens are left on rescue doorsteps with the hope that someone will find them a home.

And finding a home for a cute fuzzy, energetic kitten is not hard…what’s hard is the time spent in between! Shelters only have “so much” space, resources, and time to care for “so many” animals; limited resources means rescue groups must depend greatly on outside assistance from foster homes. Kittens need to be feed, watered, litter changed, bedding changed, medicated, played with, and loved.

Foster homes not only play an important role in the rescue “business,” by lending a hand to strained shelters but in fighting the cat overpopulation problem. Foster homes get cats off the streets and give them safe loving homes. Foster homes prevent more unwanted kittens through sterilization and prevent the spread of disease through vaccination. Foster homes provide kittens with warm cozy environments for them grow and thrive. Most kittens arrive at shelters without mothers, and some are only days old! This means even more work for dedicated individuals who assume a motherly position for several weeks, by bottle feeding every few hours, bathing, and regulating body temperature. Like I said, it is not as hard to find a cuddly kitten a home as it is to raise one! So, please consider becoming a foster parent for your local animal shelter, I’m sure they could use it.

Again, fostering abandoned cats and litters of kittens is a wonderful way to help combat cat homelessness, while enjoying the experience of watching them grow and thrive under your loving care. Although it may be sad to give up a cat or kitten you've nurtured for weeks, it is also a joyous event to see a kitty go to a permanent loving home. To know that you played a part in that cat’s life and were able to help him have a better life that so many others don’t get a chance to have, is priceless.

3 to 4 million cats and dogs are killed every year in US animal shelters.

90% of those euthanized are adoptable.

Please help us change these figures. Volunteer to be a foster parent and save a life.

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