With kitten season comes the call for people to care and socialize kittens for adoption.
Central Alberta Humane Society’s new Purr Program was developed to address the kittens that people bring to the shelter.
“We have not seen the influx of boxes of kittens yet, but it’s coming,” said animal care manager Shelli Steeves on Wednesday.
People who show up with kittens they have found will be asked to be part of the temporary foster program. Others interested in the program can also apply.
“What we will do is supply them with all the necessities that they need. That includes food, blankets, crates, milk replacement if needed, of course contact with us for any medical needs or concerns.
“It’s just to try and help with the large number of kittens that we do get in and trying to provide them with the best quality care that we can.”
Right now the society has a mom with six kittens at the shelter. Another mom is almost ready to give birth with a permanent foster caregiver.
Amber Fraser, a permanent foster caregiver, has fostered four batches of kittens. Four days ago she took in a mom and three four-week old kittens.
Fraser, who grew up with cats, said taking her first foster kittens back to the Humane Society was tough because she had grown especially fond of one of the kittens. But when she saw them a few weeks later in the kitten room, any doubts she had vanished.
“I saw that they were all happy and thriving and playing together. So that just kind of boosted my confidence in the program. They’re going to go to a good place,” said Fraser, of Lacombe.
She said her most challenging group so far were three feral kittens that needed lots of attention to get them used to people.
“I really enjoy cats. Some people say cats aren’t very friendly and I don’t agree with that at all. I’ve always had good cats with good personalities.”
She learned about the foster program while looking for volunteer opportunities. Fraser has a mild cat allergy, but kittens don’t bother her.
“Since I have allergies I can’t be right in the shelter all the time. This is a way I can still be a part of helping with something and work with animals in a more controlled environment for me. I just works out well.”
She has fostered kittens for two to six weeks depending on how old they are. They are returned to the Humane Society when they are old enough to be spayed or neutered for adoption.
“It’s a short-term commitment with lots of benefits.”
If people already have pets in the home, what’s a few more, Fraser said.
“I just enjoy it and I like to know I’m helping out in some way with animals because there are a lot of people who don’t take responsibility for their animals and someone has to help out.”