Shelter seeking foster homes for kittens
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By Mickey Zeldes   April 19, 2013 12:00 am

Ah, April! The weather is warmer, flowers are blooming, days are longer, and the shelter usually starts getting in kittens. As we gear up for the annual onslaught of kittens, we are putting out a call for new foster homes. If you love kittens (and who can resist their fluffy cuteness?), here is a politically correct way to enjoy them without the lifetime of responsibility.

Foster families help us raise the many orphan kittens, and more rarely, puppies, that come through our door. We know a shelter is a less than ideal place for young animals to grow up, and by being in a real home they will get more socializing and attention than they would in a cage. They come back already comfortable in a home setting and with some idea of their personalities, which is a bonus for a potential adopter.

Most foster situations are just for a few weeks, because the majority of kittens we receive are about 5-6 weeks old. They just need to get to 2 pounds so they can be altered and moved up to adoptions, which is when they are about 8-9 weeks old, so we call this their “finishing school.” Occasionally there are mom-cats with newborns that need a quieter place to raise their young, and this would be a longer commitment. Having the mom, though, makes the job easier as she keeps the kittens clean and well fed. All you have to add is the love (human style).

The best part of fostering is we support you all the way by providing the food, litter, medical care and other supplies so it doesn’t cost you anything but your time. It’s a great family project and gives children a chance to experience being around young animals without adding to the pet overpopulation problem. But, yes, you do have to give them back for adoption. Helping to find homes for your bundles of joy, though, can be a great networking opportunity and allow you to stay in touch with your babies throughout their lives.

We also need fosters for the rare adult cat or dog recovering from an injury or needing extra socializing. If you have a quiet home and the time to spend with one of these special-needs animals, we’d love to talk to you. Anyone interested in learning more about our foster care program is invited to a one-hour orientation on Saturday, April 27, at 10 a.m.

Whether you just foster one litter or help us throughout the season, know you are helping to save lives. Last year, foster families helped save more than 200 kittens, bunnies, puppies and special-needs animals. We can’t do it without your help. Hope to see you on the 27th. Call the shelter to register, or for more information, call 584-1582. The kittens are coming – are you?

Upcoming events: Show us you’re our fan on Facebook and get a free bag of Milkbone samples and a bone-shaped squeaky toy. Follow us on Facebook for adoption follow-up stories, help promote adoption animals, and hear about our special events.

Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at mzeldes@rpcity.org.

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