Foster caregivers needed for kittens
Lee County Animal Services is looking for people to volunteer as foster caregivers for the kittens.
As the month of May draws closer, so does kitten season, when the department sees the number of kittens at the shelter increase from 500 to 700 a month.
Of course, the shelter’s size does not increase with the newfound felines, forcing the county to look elsewhere for assistance.
“Kitten season is right around the corner and with that the need for fosters is going to increase,” said Ria Brown, Lee County Animal Services spokeswoman. “Kitten season is generally May through October, but it can last a little longer here because of the warm weather.”
Of the 34 homes currently providing foster care help for the department, only 13 take in cats, according to Brown. She said the organization could use another 24 foster homes.
“You need varied environments, because not every animal is going to need the same thing. You need a lot of varied options so we could call people who would fit a particular criteria.”
Lee County Animal Services provides foster caregivers with all the necessary supplies including food, medications and veterinary care if the animal, or animals, turn ill.
Cape Coral resident Vicki Conn has been a foster caregiver with the department for the past three years, but has worked in a foster care capacity for the better part of 12 years.
Conn said she has fostered “quite a few kittens” during her tenure with Lee County Animal Services, and that care can often mean the difference between life and death for the unsuspecting felines.
“It’s the difference between the animal finding a good home, and there not being enough room in the shelter,” she said.
Conn said she especially enjoys taking in litters of neo-natal kittens to prevent them from becoming sick in the shelter, which would affect not only their chances of getting adopted, but their survival.
“I’m willing to foster at any time,” she said.
Brown and Lee County Animal Services is hoping that sentiment will spread throughout the county, and that they will have an abundance of foster homes once kitten season kicks into full gear.
“Foster caregivers aren’t committing to 365 days a year, only when we need the help,” she said.
For more information or to sign up, call 533-PETS (7387), or visit: www.LeeLostPets.com to fill out a foster application.