ASPCA Encourages Public to Be Part of the “Rescue Effect” By Adopting and Fostering Shelter Animals During Adopt a Shelter Cat Month in June

ASPCA Kitten Nursery celebrates 10th anniversary as part of more than 23,000 kittens saved through the ASPCA’s kitten fostering programs in NYC and LA, which help alleviate pressure on municipal shelters
June 4, 2024

NEW YORK – To kick off its Rescue Effect campaign and partnership with ARM AND HAMMER™ Cat Litter during Adopt a Shelter Cat Month this June, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is encouraging the public to help shelter animals through adoption and fostering. Shelters across the country are full, with 6.5 million dogs and cats entering animal shelters last year and only 4.8 million animals adopted. With limited resources and too many animals in need, shelters are working overtime to find loving homes for the animals in their care. In addition, shelters are experiencing “kitten season,” the time of year during the warmer months when there’s a surge of newborn kittens requiring specialized, intensive care, adding to the strain on many shelters.

"When you adopt or foster an animal from a shelter, you make an impact that ripples throughout shelters nationwide and makes space for more animals in need—that’s the Rescue Effect,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “The ASPCA is proud to closely support municipal shelters in New York City and Los Angeles, two parts of the country that are particularly overwhelmed with higher intake during kitten season while working closely with animal shelters in communities nationwide to help them continue placing animals in loving homes. By adopting or fostering a pet, you can save a life and help your local shelter.”

As a national organization, the ASPCA collaborates with hundreds of local shelters and rescues, working together to save and improve the lives of animals in communities across the country by providing life-changing tools, resources, and relocation services to help give even more animals a second chance. With the crucial support of foster caregivers, who help kittens grow as they prepare to find loving adoptive homes, the ASPCA has saved more than 23,000 of the most vulnerable kittens in New York City and Los Angeles. The ASPCA’s programs help municipal shelters in these cities, including more than 11,000 kittens saved through the ASPCA Kitten Nursery to support Animal Care Centers of NYC’s (ACC) capacity over the past 10 years.

Since opening the ASPCA Kitten Nursery in 2014, there has been a significant increase in kittens’ lives saved at ACC who are too young to survive on their own. This includes Adam, the first kitten helped through the program, who was transferred from ACC at four weeks of age before he found an adoptive home in the Bronx. Known today as Rocky, he lives with three feline housemates. The majority of kittens helped through the ASPCA Kitten Nursery are transferred from ACC, the only open-admission shelter in New York City. The program has evolved to focus on the most vulnerable kittens who require more intensive support prior to adoption and shares these learnings with the broader animal sheltering community nationwide.

"When kitten season is in full swing, ACC can receive hundreds of neonatal kittens every week. It's just not possible for us to provide care for so many, based on our level of available resources,” said ACC President and CEO Risa Weinstock. “The ASPCA is able to take thousands of these New York City kittens into their care who may not have had a chance to survive otherwise. We continue to be so grateful to ASPCA for their lifesaving work."

Providing a loving home for an animal is not the only way the public can help ease the strain on shelters and the professionals who dedicate their lives to helping animals every day. During kitten season, another important step you can take is to prevent kittens from ever entering a shelter to begin with. If you find kittens outside this summer, the ASPCA has an online tool to help identify the best next steps to support their well-being, which doesn’t always mean bringing them to a shelter if their mother is nearby taking care of them.

To learn more about fostering kittens for the ASPCA in New York City or Los Angeles visit or visit to learn more about cats and kittens available for adoption from the ASPCA or local shelters in your community.