ASPCA Assists More Than 70 Kittens Displaced from North Carolina Shelter Impacted by COVID-19

Kittens receiving ongoing care at ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Weaverville, N.C. until they can be made available for adoption
August 25, 2020

Photos (Credit/ASPCA):

Asheville, N.C.—The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is assisting with the care and placement of more than 70 kittens transported out of Valley River Humane Society in Marble, N.C., after the shelter was impacted by COVID-19. After learning that staff members tested positive for the coronavirus, the shelter relocated nearly all of the animals in their care as they reduced the number of in-person staff. The kittens, ranging in age from 10 to 18 weeks old, were transported to the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Weaverville, N.C., where they are receiving critical care and undergoing a two week quarantine until they can be made available for adoption. 

“Animal shelters across the country are continuing to navigate through many challenges associated with this global pandemic while doing everything they can to ensure the safety of their staff, community, and the animals in their care,” said Mary Sarah Fairweather of the ASPCA. “The ASPCA is grateful to be in a position where we can step in to assist Valley River Humane Society and provide care and socialization for these young kittens until they can be made available for adoption.”

“During these difficult times, it is essential for the animal welfare community to come together in support of one another to keep animals, shelter staff, and pet owners safe,” said Kirsty Waller, Shelter Manager of Valley River Humane Society. “We thank the ASPCA for their dedication to helping us so we can focus on keeping our staff healthy and providing love and proper care for the animals that remain in our shelter.”

The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center is an ASPCA program that works to behaviorally treat extremely fearful dogs, often victims of cruelty and neglect. Because the facility is not normally set up for the care of cats and kittens, ASPCA experts quickly transformed a section of the building for these kittens to ensure they could receive daily care and enrichment while they remain with the ASPCA.

In March, the ASPCA launched a $5 million COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Initiative to bring lifesaving services to pet owners and animals most in need and provide $2 million in grant funding to more than 50 animal welfare organizations across 30 states. By providing access to free pet food, supplies, veterinary care, emergency boarding and information, the ASPCA is comprehensively addressing the most urgent needs of pet owners and animal shelters across the country, helping to keep animals safe and healthy. Since launching its COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Initiative, the ASPCA has helped more than 268,000 dogs, cats and horses across the country.

For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to help animals during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, please visit