Be Part of The Rescue Effect: Save Lives and Find Companionship During Adopt a Shelter Cat Month

May 24, 2024

By Matt Bershadker, President & CEO of ASPCA

This June, in celebration of Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, the ASPCA proudly marks two major milestones and invites you to be part of The Rescue Effect – an initiative designed to provide more animals with a second chance at finding loving new homes. As part of the ASPCA’s work to partner and collaborate with hundreds of local shelters and rescues across the country, the ASPCA Kitten Nursery in New York City is marking its 10-year anniversary, and on the West Coast, we’re also celebrating a decade of impactful work in Los Angeles, including fostering our 12,000th kitten through the ASPCA’s Los Angeles Kitten Foster Program.

The Power of Foster Caregivers

Most kittens helped through the ASPCA Kitten Nursery are transferred from the Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC), the only open-admission animal shelter in New York City. In Los Angeles, our partnership with the L.A. County Department of Animal Care and Control – the largest municipal sheltering system in the country – has resulted in a 60% increase in kittens saved since 2014. Thanks to the unwavering dedication of our foster caregivers, who nurture kittens as they prepare to find loving homes, the ASPCA has provided specialized medical care for more than 23,000 vulnerable kittens in New York City and Los Angeles. This crucial support helps municipal shelters manage their capacity during the busy kitten season.

What Is Kitten Season?

Kitten season, which tends to occur during the warmer months in some areas and year-round in other parts of the country, overwhelms animal shelters with a surge of newborn kittens requiring specialized, round-the-clock, intensive care. This influx strains limited resources, space and staff, making it difficult to provide necessary care and prevent the spread of diseases. Additionally, the high volume of kittens increases the urgency for foster homes and quick adoptions to avoid overcrowding.

Why You Matter

Homer, who was adopted into a loving home from the ASPCA Adoption Center.

Many animal shelters across the country are full, with 6.5 million dogs and cats entering animal shelters last year. With limited resources and too many animals in their care, shelters are working overtime to give these animals what they need. They need you to help lighten the load, especially during kitten season. By adopting or fostering a pet, you can make a profound difference in the lives of these animals and the shelters that tirelessly work to support them.

Inaugural California Adopt-a-Pet Day Makes a Difference

On June 1, we partnered with California Animal Welfare Association (CalAnimals) and the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SPCA) to host the first-ever California Adopt-a-Pet Day, a day-long event that included more than 170 animal welfare organizations across the state working collaboratively to find homes for 2,024 pets. We hit that goal and nearly doubled it, helping 3,609 pets find loving homes and proving the power of the public to make a significant difference in lives of shelter animals.

While I hope to see California Adopt-a-Pet Day become an annual tradition, remember that you don't need to wait for an event to make a difference. Communities and individuals across the country can help their local shelters right now.

Join the Rescue Effect

Animal lovers across the country can still make a significant impact this season by adopting or fostering vulnerable kittens or cats. Through the ASPCA’s new The Rescue Effect campaign, in partnership with ARM & HAMMER™ Cat Litter, we continue to offer life-changing tools, resources and relocation services, helping even more animals get a second chance at loving homes.

When one shelter animal is adopted or fostered, it creates space for another animal in need, igniting a ripple effect throughout shelters nationwide. This is The Rescue Effect. Take a look at some early highlights from this year’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.

Experience Joy and Companionship

Adopting a pet not only helps the animals in the shelters, but it also brings immense joy and companionship into your life. The bond you form with an adopted cat can be deeply rewarding—bringing love, laughter and fulfillment to your home. By adopting, you’re not just saving a life – you’re enriching your own with a loyal and loving companion.

Preventing Shelter Entry

Another crucial way to help is to prevent animals from entering shelters in the first place when it’s not essential. If you find kittens outside this summer, the ASPCA has an online tool to help determine the best next steps to support their wellbeing, which doesn’t always mean bringing them to a shelter if their mother is nearby taking care of them.

Get Involved Today!

Right now, the ASPCA particularly needs foster caregivers who can provide frequent bottle-feeding and support for kittens who may require regular baths or medication. To learn more about pet adoption and fostering kittens for the ASPCA in New York City or Los Angeles, visit or Located somewhere else? Ask your local shelter about how to support their foster programs.

This Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, take action and join The Rescue Effect. Your support will provide life-saving care and create a brighter future for countless animals in need. Adopt, foster and be the change that shelters need to save more lives while bringing joy and companionship into your own life.