Dallas Love Bugs
SPECTRUM NEWS: DAS Kitten Fostering Segment
Interested In Kitten Volunteering or Fostering? This Blog Post Is For You!
Kittens! Yes! Because... Who Doesn't Coo and "Eeeeee!" at the site of a teeny furry purring baby?
Kitten Season is during warm weather - this is when cats breed the most. In warmer-climate areas, that may mean kittens in need from April through September.
Some people accidentally "kit-nap" underage babies thinking they have been abandoned when in reality mama cat is probably nearby. It is best to leave babies, put a ring of flour around them, then check back to see if you see cat footprints - that is your indication mama is still caring for her babies.
Kittens too young to be away from mom who end up in human hands need around-the-clock feeding and care, a warm spot (an incubator for the very teenies), and even stimulation to pee and poop until they are old enough to manage that on their own.
Kittens of all ages need foster - from bottle babies to those eating on their own who just need to get to age and weight for spay/neuter then adoption.
There is also ample opportunity to support kitten care by volunteering in a shelter or rescue's kitten nursery.
Watch the video below for more information on the Dallas Animal Services Kitten Volunteer and Fostering Experiences.
NOTE: Text below video is via SPECTRUM NEWS / Stacy Rickard
Stacy Rickard - Spectrum News 1 Texas: "Kitten Season in Full Swing"
Kitten season is in full swing at shelters across the country. At Dallas Animal Services, about 300 kittens are in foster homes, but many more fosters are needed.
Stephanie M. Casey is a foster for Dallas Animal Services.
"There's need for fosters for just a few days, you could get them when they're tiny babies and have them for six or eight weeks. You know, or just a week or two. The nursery’s overloaded. So whatever you're comfortable with is what you can do.”
The pair of brothers are just two of the more than a thousand kittens that will need care during this current kitten season, which Dallas Animal Services says is ramping up in these warmer months.
“Kitten season lasts in Texas, generally from early April to late October and will bring in about 1,200 kittens over the next few months,” Sarah Sheek with DAS said. “And of course since we're in Texas, that lasts a lot longer here than it was somewhere like Chicago. We do have a lot of puppies coming in this time of year as well. But kittens are definitely the biggest need, we see a far higher volume of kittens coming in.”
DAS is currently flooded with kittens that need to be cared for round the clock. The smaller babies are in the incubators and older ones are in kennels together. These little ones need the most care, but it’s something anyone with extra time on their hands can learn to do.
“I think that a lot of people feel like they just don't have the expertise. And the good news is that it's pretty easy to learn how to take care of kittens. We have a whole series of videos that we'll have you watch and then we have a really supportive Facebook community of fosters who are able to answer those easy questions in the middle of the night when staff may not be on hand to answer them. But kittens are pretty resilient little things. So as long as you have all the supplies that you need, and you're willing to wake up every few hours to feed them, it doesn't take an expert,” Sheek said.
DAS wants people to be aware of not “kit-napping” a litter of kittens that may be waiting for their mother to return.
“What we generally see is that, yes, the kittens that are coming in have been separated from mom somehow. We probably do bring in a fair number of kittens that were what we call ‘kit-napped’ as well, meaning that a very well intentioned resident saw them on their own, assumed mom was gone and brought them to us. We would ask that people actually wait and see if mom comes back because kittens are always better off sticking with mom for those first six to eight weeks so that she can take care of them.”
During the pandemic, the municipal shelter — which is required to take in any animal that’s brought to them — saw plenty of adoptions and fosters, but those numbers have dwindled and more are needed to step up.
“We let go of my office shortly after the pandemic, so I'm home most of the time, which does make it easier but it's not necessary because kittens sleep 18 or 20 hours a day. So even if you did have to go to an office, you know, and you were gone for eight hours, you would just put them in like a bathroom or wherever you're containing them and make sure they have food and water and everything they need and then just see them when you get home.”
Casey says getting kittens into your home can lead to better socialization for them, and their personalities can come out.
“And the quicker that they can get out of the shelter the quicker they can be home. So that's where fostering is a really great piece to that where you're that bridge between shelter adjustment into the home and then to the adoptive home,” Casey said. “Fostering for the human, it brings so much love into your home. You just become the replacement mother, so you get that love and the polarity and the adorableness in your own house. It's entertainment. You don't even need TV when you have ‘kitten vision.’”
More information and resources including rescues and shelters across DFW that provide support for kittens can be found at www.dfwkittennetwork.com. If a resident who finds kittens is willing to care for the kittens until they’re two-months-old (or weigh 2 lbs) and can be fixed for adoption, they can call 311 and let us know they are interested in being a finder foster.
If someone finds confirmed orphaned, critically sick, or injured kittens within the city of Dallas, call 311 and we will work to find them a foster within our program or with one of our rescue partners. Anyone who finds orphaned kittens can also text “KITTEN” to (833) 936-0421 for information and resources delivered straight to their mobile device.
We need volunteers to help out in our kitten nursery – volunteers can sign up at BeDallas90.org/volunteer. Those interested in fostering can sign up at BeDallas90.org/foster.
Spectrum News Vimeo, original post "Kitten Season in Full Swing"
Kitten Lady Wonderful Person and Website / Socials For Kitten Education and Resources
The content on this website is based on personal experience and researched information. Please note no one here is a professional vet, trainer, or behaviorist. Always consult your vet and trainer about what is best for your dog or cat and their mental & physical health!
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