Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wanted: Foster Heroes!

Of the 579 kittens DPVHS sheltered in 2008, 319 needed foster care prior to being placed up for adoption. That's 319 kittens too young, sickly, unsocial, or otherwise unprepared for life in the Big World.

The percentage of kittens needing foster care continues to go up as we make headway against feline overpopulation in our communities. So many people now do the right thing and spay their pet cat before she has a litter, that it is unusual for us to see healthy eight week old kittens being surrendered. Instead, we receive primarily the offspring of stray and feral cats--kittens with little vaccine history, a justifiable suspicion of humans, and often without even a mother to provide for their basic needs.

This is where our heroic foster parents step in. Thanks to the hard work, compassion, and spare bedrooms of dozens of Pioneer Valley residents, 319 infant and orphaned kittens got a second chance last year. Our foster parents bottle fed, cuddled, scooped litter pans, made special trips to the veterinarian, and taught kittens how to lap their food from a bowl. They reassured frightened mother cats, lured scared kittens with toys and treats, and taught their kids about the importance of gently helping animals in need.

Most of the 900 or more kittens we expect to see in 2009 will come in during the few short months of the late spring and summer. In fact, our first have already begun to arrive. We need your help.

Do you have what it takes? Do you like the antics of kittens but don't want to let your own cat contribute to overpopulation by having a litter? Do you have a spare room? Are your resident animals vaccinated and healthy? If so, we're looking for some everyday heroes like you to help us save a few hundred lives.

To learn more and to volunteer to be a foster parent, please contact our foster coordinator, Mike, at mikev@dpvhs.org or call 413-773-3148.

If you can give them a home for a few weeks, we'll find them a home for life.

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