Summer is nearly upon us, and with it, sun, warm temperatures, and, naturally, kittens. Yes, the hot weather does more than drive people to the beach; it also results in more stray kittens for the Bay Area's shelters to care for. With more kittens, shelters and rescue programs are getting overwhelmed, and foster parents are needed to help the smallest kittens mature to an adoptable size.
Increase in Kittens
The warmer temperatures and limited amount of rain has sparked a feline mating frenzy, increasing the number of kittens born. "During warmer weather, there's always an increase in kittens," Krista Maloney of the San Francisco SPCA told SFist.
According to SFist, in the first half of 2012, the SF SPCA sent 154 kittens and mother cats to foster homes; thus far in 2013, 363 kittens and mothers have been sent to foster care. When young kittens come to shelters, they require special attention to make them comfortable with humans and more attractive for adoption. Kittens that weigh less than 2 pounds are too small to kept in shelters, requiring home care for bottle feeding until they are mature enough to be spayed or neutered. If foster homes cannot be obtained for young kittens, they frequently have to be euthanized.
Need for Kitten Foster Parents
Shelters put foster parents through a brief training and provide them with food and supplies for proper care. The kittens will be vaccinated and checked every two weeks until they reach the necessary size of 2 pounds. Once they reach that critical size, they can be returned to their shelter and put up for adoption. As well as gaining weight, the kittens become accustomed to interacting with humans.
How to Become a Kitten Foster Parent
The SF SPCA, as well as other shelters around the Bay Area, is promoting the need for foster parents and prospective adopters. Check out SF SPCA's Foster Care Program Volunteer Manual online to see if being a foster parent for a kitten is right for you. Tri-Valley Animal Rescue in Pleasanton also needs kitten foster parents -- you must be 18 or older and able to foster the kitten for at least two weeks, among other requirements. Check out Tri-Valley's kitten fosters page for more information.
Ready to Adopt?
Tri-Valley Animal Rescue is advertising a "kitten bonanza" this weekend, June 15-16 -- the website advises interested adopters to come early to either the Dublin PetSmart at 6960 Amador Plaza Road, 12 p.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, or the Pleasanton Farmer's Market at First and Angela streets on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Northern California Pet Adoptions is also a great resource to find other pet adoption events around the Bay Area.
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