First 24/7 Kitten Nursery in the Country Receives Milestone Baby.
He was carried in a tattered cardboard box, seven other littermates pressed up against him. Terrified and hungry, he wanted his mama. A compassionate person found him and his littermates abandoned on the side of the road and knew just where to bring them. He was just weeks old when he came to the San Diego Humane Society’s Kitten Nursery. His story is not unique – it’s one that’s seen each and every day at the Kitten Nursery, but what does make this kitten unique is that he is the 10,000th arrival at the country’s first 24-hour Kitten Nursery!
His survival now depends on the caregivers at the Kitten Nursery. Bottle-fed and cared for around-the-clock by experienced kitten caregivers and medical staff, he is growing up strong, fluffy and playful, and will soon be ready for his public debut.
“Neonate kittens are the most vulnerable animal in shelters and I’m extremely proud that San Diego took the lead to establish a 24/7 nursery in 2009 to reduce the needless euthanasia of underage orphan kittens,” adds Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society. “Most shelters simply don’t have the resources to care for fragile kittens around-the-clock. We’re very grateful to our staff, volunteers and donors who enable our important lifesaving work.”
Very young, orphaned kittens need to be bottle fed every 3-4 hours and receive the same attention they would normally receive from their mothers. This comprehensive care is vital to both their physiological and behavioral development during this critical time period in their young lives. Once kittens reach about 4-5 weeks of age, they are typically moved to foster homes for socialization until they are old enough for adoption.
“Since ours opened as the first 24-hour kitten nursery in the country in 2009, more than a dozen organizations across America have followed our lead by opening other nurseries in their communities; including national agencies like the American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals and Best Friends,” said Morgan Hill, director of nursery and foster for San Diego Humane Society. “We’re so proud that this lifesaving model is being replicated to save even more animals.”
“I’m excited and amazed that we’ve reached such a milestone at the Kitten Nursery,” says Jackie Noble, Kitten Nursery supervisor. “We have so many incredible people working very hard to care for these tiny babies, but it’s a labor of love – we all love saving kitten lives.”
Kitten number 10,000 is currently in foster care until he’s old enough to be adopted. San Diego Humane Society is holding a naming contest – submit your suggested name for the 10,000th kitten here!
About San Diego Humane Society
Serving San Diego County since 1880, San Diego Humane Society’s scope of social responsibility goes beyond adopting animals. San Diego Humane Society offers San Diegans a wide range of programs and services that strengthen the human-animal bond, prevent cruelty/neglect, provide medical care, educate the community on the humane treatment of animals and provide safety net services for all pet families needing assistance with keeping their pets.
As San Diego’s oldest nonprofit organization, San Diego Humane Society has campuses located in Escondido, Oceanside, and San Diego as well as adoption centers inside select Petco stores throughout San Diego County. San Diego Humane Society is supported solely through contributions, grants, bequests, investments and small fees for services. For more information or to view our current animals available for adoption; please visit www.sdhumane.org.
About Our Kitten Nursery
San Diego Humane Society’s Kitten Nursery cares for thousands of orphaned kittens every year. These newborn, orphaned kittens require 24-7 care that is unavailable anywhere else. Before the Kitten Nursery opened in 2009, many kittens this young throughout San Diego County would be euthanized because of a lack of resources required to care for them.
The Kitten Nursery was the first program of its kind and has provided a model for other shelters ever since. Without friends like you, we can’t save these tiny kittens, nurture them and prepare them for loving homes.