As foster coordinator for the League, I know that kittens, orphans and nursing moms, do best in quiet home environments where they can be kept away from the stress of shelter life. And these babies arrive in spring! This year, WARL’s expanded foster program tis ready to meet the needs of these incredibly vulnerable animals.
We’ve trained dozens of volunteers on the ins and outs of kitten fostering—from how to set up a home for nursing cat families, to bottle-feeding newborns and identifying signs of illness. These volunteers literally came to the rescue this spring, when “kitten season” welcomed many new feline babies to the world.
An area shelter called desperate for help – they were full up on kittens. With foster homes on stand-by, I knew the League could help. We took in 10 orphaned kittens and 2 nursing litters. The orphaned “bottle babies” need to be fed every 2-3 hours, 24 hours a day; nursing moms and kittens need support, too. We transported all 18 felines back to the League, where loving foster volunteers were lined up and waiting.
The cats arrived shortly after 7 pm with a surprise – one of the moms had given birth to 2 new babies on the way! One foster took these guys straight home, while other volunteers loaded up with supplies. With only a few hours’ notice, we were now on round-the-clock newborn duty!
The kittens haven’t stopped coming since. Daily, we receive calls for help, and thanks to our foster program, we’ve been able to take in nearly 10 times as many kittens this year as last.
WARL and its volunteers will continue to give these vulnerable animals the best chance at life through fostering. But we could use your help. More than ever, we need donations of supplies to support these dedicated foster homes. Digital kitchen scales are need to weigh the kittens and catch any early signs of illness. Heating pads and snuggle safes provide critical sources of warmth. Canned kitten food, as well as non-clumping litter is sincerely appreciated by fosters who give so much to these guys.
This Sunday, May 5, join us for the annual Kitten Shower! Celebrate the rescue of these little lives, meet feline residents and join in some refreshments. See our registry here: http://amzn.com/w/2M24ZOOEDOX39
Like all babies, these kittens are growing up fast. They will soon be looking for homes of their own! Please consider adoption, and take one (or two!) kittens home.
Mandie Worsley is the Washington Animal Rescue League’s Foster Coordinator and works in the Adoptions Department.