It’s Raining Kittens
by: Judy Hamontre, AVHS Board Member and Volunteer
The Ark-Valley Humane Society cared for almost 30 kittens in April, and they have been getting more kittens every week. It is raining, maybe even pouring, kittens this year after a few past seasons of dwindling kitten numbers.
Humans can open up a protective umbrella from this downpour by getting their pets and neighborhood feral cats spayed and neutered.
This act of animal kindness might have prevented the story of Dory, her kitten mates and their moms, all found in one location in April. Fortunately, the outcomes for most were happy, but that is not the case for all kittens born to feral adults.
Dory was a newborn kitten, one of 20 of various ages. Sadly, it was impossible to know which of the three adult females, all feral, was any one kitten’s mom.
Feral moms are nearly impossible to handle, but these needed help as did their kittens. The moms were humanely trapped and all were moved to the BV shelter and set up in a room normally used for meet and greets.
Over the first week, three newborns died, but luckily the others remained strong, including Dory.
The AVHS staff had to carefully sneak into their room to apply eye medication to the kittens while dodging the wary and sometimes aggressive feral moms.
Once old enough to eat on their own, the kittens were moved into foster homes where loving volunteers continued their care, along with help from those who had donated kitten formula and food.
The feral adults were spayed, neutered, vaccinated and relocated with barn home adopters.
The kittens, now socialized and almost old enough for spay and neuter, will make their way into adoptive homes.
Dory, most of her kitten mates and their moms are a successful story thanks to the wonderful AVHS staff, volunteers, veterinarian and donors.
However, all these people dream of a day when there are no more unwanted litters of kittens because the outlook for many is gloomy.
You can help by spaying/neutering your pets and any feral cats you may see in your neighborhood.
If they have been spayed or neutered their left ear will have been clipped by the vet. Also known as an ear tip, this is the universal sign that the animal has been fixed.
If you see no ear tip, then in Chaffee County, contact AVHS at ark-valley.org or call (719) 395-2737 to get information on their TNR (trap-neuter-release) program. They will advise you and provide you what you need, at no cost to you.
If you or someone you know needs financial assistance for their pets, that help is also available and can be found on the AVHS web site under services.
You also can donate, volunteer, foster and adopt. The latter two are fun ways to bring joy and the laughter of playful kittens into your home.
Call now because currently, “It’s raining kittens!”
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