Shelters in need of fosters as kitten season picks up

Shelters in need of kitten fosters as kitten season picks up
Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 5:31 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 25, 2023 at 5:32 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Pima Animal Care Center is in desperate need of fosters for kitten season.

The season just started and PACC is already seeing kittens that are just days old flooding in.

“There’s not enough staff to take care of them 24-hours, 7-days a week,” said Jordan Hudgel, neonatal foster coordinator at PACC.

As the weather continues to warm up, thousands of kittens will be born across Pima County and many of those will end up at PACC. On Sunday alone, PACC saw 33 underage kittens brought into the shelter.

“Seeing that many kittens come into the shelter in one day is really concerning because we have to get those kittens into foster homes,” explained Kayleigh Murdock, PACC’s public information officer.

Kittens can be on their own at eight weeks, but if they’re removed from their mothers before then it can be hard for them to survive. PACC sees litters of kittens brought in each day by people who mean well.

“Mom is the best caretaker,” said Hudgel. “She knows how to clean and feed and provide everything the baby needs and they already do the best job at it.”

PACC says these neonatal kittens will not survive if they’re left in a kennel overnight without care, but PACC can train fosters to take care of them.

She said, “It’s a time commitment. Bottle babies need feedings every two hours and that lasts for weeks or about a month until we can get them to start eating their own food.”

They’re looking for people in the community to step up and foster. Foster parents will have access to the clinic and a 24-hour emergency line, as well as food and litter if PACC has it to spare.

“We’re really lucky to have a great base of fosters that will step up for kittens at this time, but since we’re seeing so many, we really need as many fosters as possible,” explained Murdock. “We need to have fosters on deck for when kittens come in because they need to go into foster care that day.”

If you aren’t able to foster, there are other ways you can help. Spreading the word about kitten season makes a huge difference and you can also donate kitten supplies. You can find more details here.

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