Calls for foster families as Humane Society nears ‘kitten season’
Right now, the shelter’s feline population is manageable, but that could change in a day.
RHS said they typically see an influx in kitten litters dropped off between May and October, depending on the weather.
“What we’re trying to do is be proactive, rather than reactive,” said Candace Davis, life-saving coordinator at RHS.
“We know what’s coming, it happens every single year. It starts to rain kittens.”
The shelter’s capacity is about 120 animals, but it’s quite common to exceed it. Davis said there have been times they’ve reached 210 animals.
Foster families not only free up space in the shelter, but also help to keep the kittens healthy.
“It’s also protecting those cats and kittens from any diseases that are floating around the shelter,” Davis said. “As much as we try to keep it safe and sound, a lot of these diseases are airborne, so it’s pretty impossible to make sure they don’t come into contact with [the animals].”
The role of a foster family varies. Volunteers might have to take the kittens for vaccinations or routine check-ups, but Davis said they mostly have to give “lots of love, lots of care and lots of socialization.”
“It’s on their schedule, if they’re not available that’s fine. That’s why it’s important that we have a large pool of people that we can call,” said Bill Thorn, director of marketing and public relations at RHS. “We might have 100 foster families, but at any given moment only 20 of them would be able to take animals.”
Fostering a cat or kitten usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks, according to RHS. The shelter typically wants kittens fostered until they are 8-weeks-old.
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