In this time of social distancing, there is one group of the population that is definitely not taking the idea to heart. I can hear the wheels turning as you think, “What group might that be?” And the answer is…our feline friends.
Yes, it’s “kitten season," and, therefore, it is not a coincidence that American Humane has designated June as Adopt-a-Cat Month. It’s the time of year that marks the birth of new kittens everywhere across the country, and many of them end up in animal shelters.
According to American Humane, “Not only are thousands of newborn kittens joining the millions of cats already in shelters, but a lack of foot traffic, funding, and supplies at many shelters struggling to maintain operations during the Covid-19 pandemic further threaten these beautiful animals and their hopes to find a forever home.”
Foster a feline
Virus or no virus, the kittens are coming into the world, and they and their mamas need some help. Thanks to the Beatrice Humane Society’s “Foster Frenzy” program, many cats and kittens were placed in foster homes when the shelter went into a revised operational format in April.
Happily, many of the foster placements resulted in permanent adoptions, and it turned out to be a win-win for all involved. However, there are still many cats and kittens coming into shelters needing help.
As mama cats are delivering litters now, it is important to know what to do if you find a feline family in your yard, under your porch, or in a window well. Keep in mind that just because you see or hear baby kittens, it does not mean that they have been abandoned.
Mom may be in the process of moving the babies to a new location, or she may be out looking for food for the family. Be mindful of the situation, but don’t do anything in haste such as scooping up the kittens and moving them. If you are uncertain about what to do, call the shelter and ask for advice.
If you would like to make a difference during kitten season, there are three things you might consider doing. First, check into becoming a foster home. The Beatrice Animal Shelter provides the food and kitty litter and supplies and pays for any medical expenses that arise.
The foster family provides the love and daily care. Socializing the animals also helps to make them more adoptable when they return to the shelter…IF the foster does not decide to keep their furry friend. Foster applications are available online at the Beatrice Humane Society website.
Donations and you
Secondly, if fostering is not an option, you might consider making a monetary donation to the shelter. Because of the circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, the status of the Humane Society’s annual “Paws-itively Desserts and More” major fundraiser is still uncertain. If the event is canceled, it will be a definite loss for the organization. All donations of money or shelter supplies are appreciated.
And third, one of the most effective tools to promote the animals at the Beatrice Animal Shelter is YOU. Every time you share a photo of a shelter animal or an announcement about an upcoming shelter event or a positive comment about the wonderful critters at our facility, you are helping to find forever homes for those pets.
One such animal that benefited from coming through our doors is Iris, a beautiful long-haired female feline. Iris came into the shelter this past November as a skinny, older stray with serious mouth issues. According to shelter manager, Carlee Fiddes, Iris required extensive dental procedures that resulted in having all her teeth removed.
Even though she had a rather “gummy” appearance, adopters Paul and Cassie loved her anyway, and Iris moved into her forever home. Not long after that, Iris’ humans adopted a kitten, and Iris soon had a new best friend. The scraggly, skinny Iris blossomed into a beauty. “She’s truly been a joy to have and is the sweetest girl,” said Paul and Cassie.
Thanks to many caring individuals who were willing to help, Iris had a second chance at a good life in a loving home. Check out the Beatrice Humane Society website and meet the other cats and kittens that are looking for love and are available for adoption. Your life will be forever enriched.
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