While most Americans are busting out the sunscreen, beach balls and barbeques in anticipation of summer, the ASPCA is preparing for a different kind of season: kitten season.
Sounds adorable, right? Unfortunately, there’s nothing cute about kitten season. It’s the time of year when felines begin to breed, flooding animal shelters across the country with homeless and newborn cats. It is a tremendous population explosion, and this year we’re expecting thousands of kittens to cross the threshold of the ASPCA Animal Hospital—all requiring round-the-clock care.
“We’re doing the mama’s job,” explains David Arias, an Animal Care Technician and regular caregiver to neonatal kittens at the ASPCA Animal Hospital. He gently pushes a syringe full of kitten milk replacer (KMR) into the wailing but eager mouth of a five-day-old neonate named Catsup, who drinks up as fast as his tiny throat can swallow. Catsup was No. 2 in a group of four baby kittens—including Mustard, Relish and Sauerkraut—dropped off at the AAH in their first days of life.
His voice trails off when he sees that Catsup is getting feisty and wants more. He replaces the near-empty syringe with a full one. After 20 minutes, Catsup’s tiny belly expands. Before putting the 8-oz. ball of fur back in his cage, David applies a wet, warm gauze to Catsup’s rear end to encourage a defecation and urination—something a mama cat would normally do by licking her young.
Catsup complies. Then, eyes still closed and back in his cage, he clumsily searches for his siblings until he finds them, snuggles up, and goes to sleep. Two hours later, he’ll be hungry again.
The ASPCA is working tirelessly to save thousands of lives this kitten season. It is an urgent time of need, and even a little gift can help a lot of cats. Please consider making a donation to the ASPCA today.
This June, it’s raining cats and kittens at the ASPCA. That’s right—it’s the height of kitten season and it’s also “Adopt a Shelter Cat” month, so we’ve got nothing but meows on our mind. Though we’re working double-time to find a home for every cat, sometimes we get lucky and fate does the job for us. That’s what happened when Sabrina C. met Leo, a newborn kitty who was adopted just hours after becoming available. Here is their Happy Tail.
Leo first came to the ASPCA at just nine days old. He, his six siblings, and their mother were found living in the home of a hoarder, and they were brought to our Animal Hospital for immediate medical attention. Because of their age, the newborns were placed under intensive neonatal care, which includes round-the-clock monitoring of health, temperature, weight, and food. Their mama was close by to tend to her babies, as well.
While all of this was happening, Sabrina C. was across town with her fiancé considering cat adoption. She had lost her older cat, Jack, to stomach cancer in early 2013, and finally felt ready to open her home to a kitten again. “When I finally decided it was time, I knew I wanted to adopt and not shop,” she says. So they headed to the ASPCA.
Had Sabrina visited our Adoption Center on any other day—or even any other hour—she might have left empty handed. But as luck would have it, Leo completed his neonatal care and was transferred to adoptions just two hours before she arrived. “When I first looked into his little kennel, he was laying there almost not wanting to be bothered. I loved that kind of ‘too good for this’ personality!” Sabrina laughs. “We picked him up and immediately knew he was ours.” As if to further cement the deal, Sabrina noticed that Leo’s birth date fell on her anniversary. “It felt it was a sign!” she says. After less than three hours in our Adoption Center, Leo had found his forever home.
Back at the apartment, the teeny kitty adjusted right away. “He is so energetic and silly,” says Sabrina. “He is very playful and loves to do weird things that just make you laugh.” They settled into their new life easily, and Leo’s early days in the home of a hoarder are nothing but a distant memory. “He’s like no pet I’ve ever had before,” says Sabrina. “He was the cat we were waiting for.”
June is “Adopt a Shelter Cat” Month, and there are tons cats and kittens waiting to meet their matches in shelters across the country! Visit the ASPCA Adoption Center—or any local shelter—to meet homeless animals in need of loving families.
Are you ready to make a difference for animals in need? Join Team ASPCA! Team ASPCA is a national endurance training and fundraising program dedicated to helping animal lovers walk, run, or cycle in support of the ASPCA’s life-saving programs. Members of Team ASPCA participate in world-renowned marathons, and right now we’re looking for fellow animal-lovers to join us in the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Halloween Half Marathon on October 26!
As a member of the Team, you’ll run or walk the half marathon while raising funds that help fight animal abuse and homelessness—reaching your fitness goals, meeting like-minded people AND making a real difference for animals in need.
All Team ASPCA Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Participants Receive:
Free race entry into the half marathon
Half marathon training from professional coaches
Team ASPCA gear
Travel accommodations (at certain fundraising levels)
Access to Team ASPCA events
A personal online fundraising page to help you reach your goal
And most important: the opportunity to help homeless, abused, and injured animals!
If you’re interested in joining the team, visit the Team ASPCA page to register to attend a FREE Team ASPCA meeting near you.
Did you know that May is Membership Month at the ASPCA? We need to reach 500 new Guardians by the end of the month, and we hope we can count on you to help us get there!
We need to reach this goal because there is still so much work to be done. 2014 has already been a banner year for the ASPCA—we’ve announced partnerships with the NYPD and the city of Los Angeles, launched campaigns against factory farming and ag-gag laws, and rescued thousands of animals from dog fighting, cockfighting, and puppy mills. But we need Guardians to help us finish what we’ve started.
There are so many reasons to become an ASPCA Guardian. The true heart of our organization, Guardians provide a consistent, reliable income stream that allows us to focus more on saving lives and less on raising the necessary funds.
But 500 is more than just a number. It represents a network of friends, supporters, and animal lovers who can come together to make a profound difference in the world. So please become a Guardian today. We—and the countless animals whose lives you will touch—will be forever grateful.
You know what they say: kindness is contagious. That’s why we love Be Kind to Animals Week, which kicks off today! Be Kind to Animals Week is celebrated every year during the first week in May, and this year marks its 99th anniversary. And while we know that you’re kind to animals all year round, this week is a great excuse to get active. Here are four ways you can show your compassion for furry friends everywhere:
Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade: Sign up for the Advocacy Brigade to receive important alerts from the ASPCA. We’ll contact you when we need your help fighting for laws against animal cruelty.
Help Fight Puppy Mills: Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills—large, sub-standard breeding facilities. Help us put puppy mills out of business by pledging not to shop in stores that sell puppies (not even for food or toys!).
Show Your Virtual Support: Spread the word about Be Kind to Animals Week through Facebook, Twitter, or your blog! And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ to keep track of breaking animal welfare news.
Volunteer: From walking dogs to fundraising, there are tons of ways you can get involved with your local animal shelter. Even if you can’t make a long-term commitment, consider lending a hand today! We can always use the help.