It’s Kitten Season, and DAWS is currently being deluged with kittens needing short term foster homes.
Jean Olivier White, DAWS foster coordinator, hosts a mandatory monthly foster orientation for potential foster families. She said, “We are in desperate need of foster families.”
At present DAWS has a list of only about 13 active foster families, and most of them are already caring for kittens; some are orphaned and some with their nursing moms.
White said that there are more kittens than usual due to the mild winter and she is regularly finding boxes of kittens at the door. The situation has been compounded by the economic climate.
White said that people are abandoning pets and also leaving them at the doorstep. “If people are struggling to feed their animals we can help,” White said, and talked about even having a Meals-On-Wheels service for pets.
She said that people do not realize that the shelter cannot keep kittens below a certain age as they have a lot of animals in the building and it is not a healthy environment for very young kittens.
Cathy Lent, who works with foster families, said, “The more foster families we have, the more we can save. But we can’t intake animals until we have a place for them to go.”
Daryl and Christopher Bird are currently fostering four kittens. They have fostered before, and now have four six-week-old kittens staying in their home. Daryl said that she has an affinity and love for anything with fur, and finds fostering animals very gratifying. “The babies are so endearing. I think the big reason to foster is that you are helping to save a life, and by not keeping them, you can make room to help more.”
She said that sometimes it is hard to see them go, but mostly, “You know they aren’t yours. You are a worker bee for DAWS and it is a part of the process to see them go.”
One of the problems the shelteris facing is that people are trapping feral kittens and bringing them to DAWS without the mother. “People should call before they take the kittens, and don’t separate them from their mom,” Lent said.
If you are interested in becoming a foster family for kittens or special needs dogs, contact DAWS through their website, www.daws.org.