Kitten Season Brings a Major Challenge
Last year, San Diego Humane Society saved the lives of nearly 5,000 kittens, most of them newborn, orphaned kittens. Our Kitten Nursery, which opened in 2009 as the first of its kind in the nation, has cared for more than 13,000 kittens since that day.
We’ve already taken in more than 800 kittens this season. Each year we scale what we call “Kitten Mountain.” Typically it runs March through November because this is the time when unaltered cats reproduce, especially free-roaming community cats. During this time, thousands of kittens are born and literally inundate San Diego animal shelters. As part of our pledge to never euthanize healthy or treatable animals, we’re committed to giving every single one of these fragile kittens the specialized care they need to survive.
But we can't do it alone. To effectively help all of these kittens each year, we need you. That’s why I’m hoping you’ll consider becoming a kitten foster parent. We understand that not everyone is in a position to adopt. But animal-lovers can still make a difference by temporarily opening their homes as foster volunteers for kittens and other shelter animals.
It takes an extraordinary person to offer animals a temporary home so they can begin their new lives. But by doing this, foster volunteers significantly expand our shelter’s capacity to take in more animals in immediate need of care. We try to make it as easy as possible for you by providing all training, supplies and medical care. Last year, 672 foster volunteers helped us save more than 3,400 animals. We hope you’ll consider being a part of our lifesaving team this year - here’s how to join us.
Another way you can help make an impact? If you find a litter of kittens without their mother, wait and watch for her to come back before scooping up the kittens. Often, well intentioned people end up orphaning kittens when they try to help. When kittens are alone, most of the time their mom is coming right back. Instead of taking them, try to get the mama cat as well and bring the whole family to us or foster them in your home. Moms are best at caring for their young. And then we can spay the mom so she doesn’t keep having litters. This flowchart can help you determine when to intervene. And you can always call us at 619-299-7012 if you have any questions.
We are beyond grateful for you our animal loving community you are the driving force behind our ability to create a more humane San Diego.
Gary Weitzman, DVM, MPH, CAWA
President and CEO
Published: May 17, 2019