(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
Kitten Season sounds like a dream come true for many. However, that’s not the case for shelters across the country flooded with homeless kittens and cats this time every year. From early spring through fall, shelters with already tight resources feel tremendous strain as their intake of kittens doubles. Petco is working to reduce these effects and help save the lives of kittens nationwide by spreading awareness this Kitten Season.
“The solution to saving lives is the local community taking an active role to help these precious kittens by fostering or adopting; that is the reason we’re committed to spreading awareness and helping these shelters save lives,” said Susanne Kogut, executive director of the Petco Foundation. “Through programs like our ‘Be a Lifesaver’ campaign – which raised more than $2.3 million last month – and supporting people who tirelessly put their love into action by helping animals, we’re confident that our collaborative efforts are making an immediate, lifesaving impact on animals.”
More than half of the pet parents surveyed by Petco were unaware that Kitten Season even exists. What’s worse, Petco’s survey found that 67 percent of respondents were surprised to learn about the intense burden and expense shelters face caring for these kittens in the summer months. While caring for large numbers of kittens in the shelter environment can be challenging, caring for a litter of kittens in your home can be a wonderful family project that teaches compassion and fills your summer with kitten love and fun kitten antics. Here’s what you need to know:
• Now’s the time to adopt: More than 3.2 million cats enter shelters each year. At two months old, after kittens have been spayed or neutered and vaccinated, it’s time to find their forever home. Petco’s July survey found that almost 74 percent of respondents desire to adopt a cat as a companion for their dog or cat, and 77 percent would consider adopting more than one kitten at a time.
• Volunteer at a local shelter: More kittens means the need for more hands on deck. Shelters are always looking for volunteers willing to clean habitats, do laundry or do the dirty work … like cuddling and caring for tiny kittens! Ask your local shelter what you can do to help them during the busy months.
• Donate kitten supplies: Resources are already stretched to their limits at shelters and rescue groups. The challenge becomes even more difficult to manage when they are inundated with homeless kittens. Kitten supplies such as feeding bottles, powdered kitten milk replacer, canned kitten food, kitchen scales that measure in ounces, microwavable heating pads and discs and kitty litter can be donated to your local shelter. Be sure to contact your local shelter first to find out what’s needed most.
For more ways to make Kitten Season better for shelters and cats alike, visit petco.com/kitten.
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)