Ah, kitten season. It brings to mind images of snuggly softness and sweet purrs, tiny wobbly steps and snoozy little potatoes. But the reality of kitten season is that shelters and rescues can't keep up, and often must decline requests for assistance due to lack of support and resources.
(pictured: Zack Morris, one of my bottle babies, back in 2012)
How can you help? SO MANY WAYS!
Foster! Foster foster foster!
The shelter is no place for newborn kittens or their mamas. It's loud, there are scary smells, and those tiny immune systems aren't ready for big germs yet. That is, if there is even space to intake a young family. If you have a spare room, a bathroom, an office - somewhere quiet for mama and kittens to grow - FOSTER! If you have time to bottle feed an orphaned litter - FOSTER! Shelters and rescues typically pay for all supplies, you just need to provide a safe and loving place to temporarily house the animals.
Reach out to your local animal welfare organizations to learn about their foster programs!
Adopt a shelter pet!
The quickest way to make space for animals in need is to adopt from your local shelter or rescue. Choosing adoption not only saves the life of the pet your take home, it opens space for another animal waiting to be saved.
Check out volunteer needs at your local animal welfare organizations and step in to help. Cleaning kennels, sorting food, walking dogs. A little bit of your time can make a big difference, especially in this incredibly demanding season.
Kitten Milk Replacer - KMR - can get pricey quick! Add canned cat and kitten food, litter, and supplies, and the expense shelters and rescues face can be overwhelming. Many organizations have Amazon wishlists or donation pages on their websites - and let me tell you, opening an Amazon package and knowing that the contents will feed an animal feels SO GOOD.
And don't forget to say thank you!
Shelter workers, veterinary clinics, and shelter clinics are STRESSED this time of year. When I was overseeing a local low cost clinic, we kept thank you cards hanging up for FOREVER, they are little rays of sunshine during tough moments. A handwritten card or thank you note goes a long way. Of course, so does coffee and pizza.
(pictured: Zack Morris, from above, 11 years later!)
If you need support, or are looking for more ways to help,