Yes! Yes! to Nono the foster dad

photo credit: ASPCA

We’re head over tails for this member of Spot Magazine’s extended family. Meet Nono, the French Bulldog and foster dad extraordinaire.

When Nono’s mom isn’t creating artwork and breed profiles for Spot’s “Matchmaker” series, Megan Noes is managing the kitten nursery at New York City’s ASPCA. During kitten season, when itty-bitty orphans fill the cages, Megan often takes her adorable work home with her.

FETCH Foster dad NONO photo credit ASPCA.jpg

That’s how she discovered Nono’s superpower. “I didn't know if he'd do well with kittens because he likes to roughhouse and is very interested in adult cats he sees,” Megan says. “But we tried it with him on leash and he was very polite. So we just kept them supervised and he does great with them. Now they are his little buds!”

Now a treasured part of the shelter’s life-saving team, Nono has fostered six litters — 17 tiny kittens in all. His gift has also made him a media darling — in recent months he’s been celebrated by national news outlets and humans everywhere, including all of us at Spot.

Photo credits:  ASPCA

Ready for baby?

It’s a boy! It’s a girl!

It’s a happy, bouncing bundle of smoochable round baby belly, preciously tiny paws, sleepy and hungry grunts that melt your heart, and, of course, new-parent kryptonite: baby smell! You know the baby smell — that pheromone-fueled fragrance that brings a thumpity-thumpity heart and butterfly-tummy feeling when you bury your nose into that perfectly round, achingly adorable head and breathe it in.

It alters your brain, all that baby love.

And you don’t mind one bit, of course. We humans are hardwired to fall head-over-hairball at first contact with tiny, vulnerable, wide-eyed infants, including animals. And that instinct is magical stuff, carrying parents through choppy tides of sleep deprivation, relentless demands, stained carpets, and lots and lots and lots of poop.

Kittens — who mostly arrive in one giant seasonal baby boom in late spring and early summer — are at the top of their adorable infant game right about now, commanding every waking moment of happily bleary humans. In the bustling lobby of the Salem Friends of Felines adoption center, Saturday-morning crowds peruse the adoptable adult cats, but all eyes are drawn to the crate of fluffball kittens. Wobbly heads gaze up from the towel-lined carrier, their curious eyes that distinctive shade of baby blue. Volunteers in colorful smocks kneel ‘round, lifting babies one at a time, recording health data, checking a list of names and markings. “This is the gray Tabby boy, and someone is interested in him. Ooh! And you get to name him!” They hand him off to his foster mom, who is also taking several siblings until they’re ready for forever homes.

An experienced foster mom has plenty of wisdom, “I’ve fostered about 90, I think, at last count. Yeah, about 90,” she says, breathlessly. But she can’t slow down right now. “It’s not a good time,” she smiles at her left hand, clutching the handle of a mewling cat carrier. She has kittens to care for. And she’s out the door, her husband trailing, loaded with baby supplies.

While puppies don’t all make their wiggly debuts in one seasonal rush like kittens, many do arrive this time of the year.

“I couldn’t imagine doing this in the winter,” says Jennifer Beveridge, who watches Oscar, her 12-week-old Boxer puppy, play a raucous game of tug with Duke, a nine-year-old French Bulldog. Shug, a seven-year-old Frenchie, watches sleepily from the couch. “I get up around 3 am and take Oscar out to potty. Then he’ll let us all sleep for a few more hours,” Jenn explains. Before she learned this trick, he was waking the entire household at 5 am, wiggly and noisy and ready to start the day.

Beveridge and her husband Alan lost their two elderly Labradors earlier this year. “We’re big dog people,” she says. “Actually, we just love all dogs. But we were ready for a big dog again.” Meanwhile, the French Bulldogs wear expressions suggesting they’re maybe not so ready. Mostly good-natured about the intrusion of their hyperkinetic new brother, they’re clearly still adjusting.

Oscar is nearly the size of his older siblings, but not for long. He’s sired by a 100-plus-pound Boxer. The Beveridge household will soon have a 70- or 80-pound toddler, and they’re ready. “He’s really good at letting us redirect him,” Jenn beams. “If he’s chewing something he’s not supposed to, I give him a chew toy. If he’s annoying the other dogs, I give him something else to do. He likes positive reinforcement.”

Kittens have their own toddler phase. Call it the razor-tooth ninja trickster phase: climbing curtains, overturning plants, bounding from hiding spots to tackle passing humans.

Whatever the species, the best prepared caregivers maintain their sanity with baby-proofed play spaces, plenty of toys and activities, and careful socialization. For puppies, there’s expert help in the form of structured puppy classes. Groups like Willamette Humane Society in Salem, OR, offer experiences tailored to puppies not yet through their full round of vaccines: they’re carried from the car to a carefully-cleaned training room, and have designated potty spaces other dogs can’t access.

L-R: Shug, Oliver, Duke

L-R: Shug, Oliver, Duke

At 12 weeks, Oscar has just one puppy vaccine to go, so the Beveridges followed their veterinarian’s advice for his first walk to the neighborhood park. It was a dry day, eliminating the risk of disease-breeding puddles, and they kept a sharp eye for signs of any animal feces. They also carried him when noisy car traffic scared him.

Oscar’s first park adventure left him exhausted. He sprawled on the sofa, all twitching paws and contented sighs. But 20 minutes later, he was hopping around nine-year-old Duke, who had been quietly chewing a toy. Then Oscar ran from human to human, placing his paws on their laps for attention. He heard the click of a camera and cocked his head. His brow wrinkled in an expression half innocent puppy and half wise old man. The humans basked in the warm rush of endorphins. “Awwww,” the entire room exclaimed. “He’s a pain in the butt,” Jenn laughed, “but we love him to bits.”


Michelle Blake is a Salem, OR-based massage therapist and freelance writer whose work has appeared in national publications. Her husband wants you to know that she's a REALLY crazy dog lady too.

Baby’s first steps . . . boosters

Puppies and kittens are all tumbling exuberance, innocent naptimes, and the magic elixir of baby breath. It can be hard to remember the practical side of health care — like shots.

Wikipedia states “Solid-fuel rocket boosters (SRBs) are large solid propellant motors used to provide thrust in spacecraft launches from initial launch through the first ascent stage.”

Boosters play a similar role for our furry little rockets.

Mama starts the protection with passive immunity passed through her milk colostrum within the first 24 hours. From there, booster shots continue to stimulate active immunity.

A licensed veterinarian is your lifetime partner and primary source for your baby’s plan of care from the beginning. Many clinics offer tailored wellness packages, providing everything you need and keeping you on track with boosters and more.

“The series of vaccines your new little addition receives as a puppy (or kitten) will be the same as later yearly vaccines,” explains Jessica Forde, Good Neighbor Vet Brand Manager. “It’s important to maintain yearly inoculations to further build your pet’s immunity.”

For puppies, basic vaccines include DAPP, Bordetella, and Rabies. These are considered core vaccines for canines.

“For puppies, additional innoculations like Leptospirosis, Lyme, and Flu are known as lifestyle vaccines,” Forde adds, “and should be considered based upon the pet’s lifestyle.” Lifestyle vaccines may be indicated for puppies who will spend time at the dog park or day care, hiking, or camping.

For kittens, FeLV/Fiv testing is important as both viruses weaken the immune system drastically and are highly contagious. The blood test is quick, and results indicate whether special care is needed.

“Kittens receive a series of boosters of the feline HCP which covers what is better known as feline distemper,” Forde explains, “and the Leukemia vaccine prevents diseases associated with FeLV.”

Most puppy/kitten shots begin around eight weeks of age. Boosters are typically given every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age to antibody production within a healthy immune system, and “boost” immunity until the pet’s immune system begins creating its own long-term protection. It is recommended to wait a couple of weeks after the last vaccination in the series before exposing a puppy or kitten to other pets, giving their immune system time to build.

“It’s during this time you want to be careful taking your pet around other animals that may not be vaccinated, or in areas where wildlife may leave excrement,” says Forde. “Both unvaccinated puppies and kittens and those currently in their vaccines series are at risk of zoonotic diseases and even fatal diseases such as parvo. A puppy or kitten is much safer on a short leash, inside the home, or even better, cuddled in one’s arms.”

Early trips to the vet for shots are also an opportunity for little ones to learn that vet trips are a good thing, so heap on the praise. “Pawwwwsitive reinforcement!” says Forde. “Treats before the vet visit, during the visit, and after.”

It’s also important to protect both puppies and kittens against parasites – worms, fleas, ticks and mites seek warm fluffy bodies as hosts. Babies can acquire internal parasites like round worms and hook worms at birth. And while parasites can cause discomfort and serious disease, thankfully they’re easily prevented or treated. Trust your veterinary team for the safest, most effective products available for all of these concerns.

Shots can make anyone feel punk, including fur-kids. But if s/he doesn’t bounce back within 24-72 hours, contact your vet. Typical side effects include low-grade fever, lethargy, injection site soreness/tenderness, and loss of appetite. If a more sensitized reaction appears, like suddenly scratching the head or neck, difficulty breathing, facial swelling or hives, call your vet.

“Keep puppies away from other pups and communal areas (parks, shared sidewalks, parking lots) until they are totally done with their distemper/parvo vaccination series,” sums up Amélie Rivaleau, DVM, Tanasbourne Veterinary Emergency. “The vaccines are done in a series so that when the maternal antibodies from mom wane, the immunity from the vaccines is high — but they are not fully protected until the series is done. The diseases vaccinated for in those series are expensive to try to treat and even tragic.”

Resources

Good Neighbor Vet * Goodneighborvet.com * 888-234-1350

Tanasbourne Veterinary Emergency * tanasbourneveter.com * 503-629-5800


Christy Caballero writes from the heart about all things pet-related, from a couple deer trails off the beaten path, typically juggling a cat (or two) on her lap as black kitty AsTar teeters on her shoulder and Mojo the retired Greyhound quietly calls for reinforcements!!

Life with Kittens is Busy!

Photo by Debbie Brusius

Photo by Debbie Brusius

Be prepared, and set them up for success

So you’re thinking about adopting a kitten. Congratulations! These fluffy little cuties can be such a fun addition to your family. Of course, like all babies, kittens need help from their new families to set them up for a successful, happy life.

Start Your Kitten in a Safe Room

Kittens are curious and active! They will sometimes play so long that they forget about things like how to find the litter box and taking time to eat. When you first get home, start your kitten in a room that is small enough for them to see the essential items — food, water, bedding, toys, and the litter box. This “safe room” is a place for them to get comfortable with you without getting lost or overwhelmed.

You should kitten-proof this room by removing anything your kitten does not need. Knickknacks will get knocked down, and like any toddler, a kitten will put anything in its mouth. Make sure sharp objects and things like hair ties, paperclips, pen caps, ribbons, etc. are removed from the room. It’s best to use a bathroom or a room where no one sleeps as the safe room. Kittens will be up before you, racing around, wanting you to play with them at 4 am.

Make Playtime Fun

Kittens play to have fun, and also to learn. When it comes to toys and activities, add variety so your kitten doesn’t decide that your blinds are more fun! It is also important to not use your hands or feet as toys. While it can be cute for a kitten to pounce and nibble your fingers, it is not a good idea to encourage those behaviors. A bite or scratch from an adult cat isn’t cute at all, and this behavior is a big reason cats are taken or returned to shelters later in life.

Teach Good Eating and Litter Box Habits

Kittens are active and should eat frequent meals to get them through their day. It’s a good idea to offer three small canned food meals, as well as offering dry food in a bowl. Always use cat food — not people food or milk — and measure the portions so you can track how much your kitten eats. Food and water dishes should be in a place that is easy to find and far away from the litter box.

Speaking of litter boxes, kittens need a shallow litter box so they can climb in easily and safely. Unscented litter and uncovered litter boxes often work best. Kittens and cats have sensitive noses, and you don’t want to do anything to make them not want to use the box. The general rule is to have one litter box per cat, plus one. You should also have at least one box on each floor of your house, especially while kittens are young. As your kitten gets bigger, you can graduate them to a regular-size litter box.

Keep the Peace with Other Pets

If you have other furry friends in the household, you will want to do slow introductions. This is your best route to fight-free greetings and lasting friendships.  

Before you try face-to-face introductions, use “scent swapping.” Take a bed from your resident pet and put it in your kitten’s safe room. Then, move a bed your kitten has used to a room with your resident pet. Let them sniff each other’s bedding, lay on it, lick it, whatever they want to do. This gives them a chance to explore the new scent and helps you gauge how the first meeting might go. Another option is to start feeding the pets on opposite sides of the door so they can smell each other under the door at mealtime. This supports bonding by helping the pets associate positive things (like eating) with each other’s scent.

Once your pets seem ready, you can begin meetings. Put your kitten in the carrier and take them into the family room. Let the resident pet approach the carrier and sniff. If this greeting goes well, you can open the carrier and let them meet. If ever you are concerned, return the kitten to the safe room and keep working with scent swapping and door feedings. Don’t rush this process. It often takes time for animals to get used to each other, and they are less likely to get along if the friendship is forced.

Prep for the Vet

Visits to the veterinarian and in-home healthcare will go best if your kitten is used to handling.

  • Play with their paws daily. Softly squish their toes so the claw comes out. This way, when it is time to trim their nails, they won’t mind a bit.
  • Keep the carrier out for your kitten to use as a hiding place and soft bed. If cats are used to the carrier, they’ll be more relaxed in it when going to the vet.
  • Look in your kitten’s ears monthly to make sure they are clean and clear of any debris. This helps you see any concerns and gets your kitten used to this touch should they ever need ear treatment.
  • Gently open your kitten’s mouth and look inside. Again, a monthly check will help you see if something isn’t right, and gets your kitten used it, making it easier if s/he ever needs oral medication.

Stay Safe

Most kittens adopted from shelters are microchipped. If not, your veterinarian should offer this service. Even if your kitten has a microchip, a collar and tag with your contact information is smart. A kitten used to a collar and tag will continue to wear it comfortably through adulthood.

If you decide to take your kitten outdoors for a walk, wait until they are fully vaccinated (typically around 4 months of age). At that time, you can try harness and leash training. It is a good idea to take them out through a door that they normally do not see open and close (such as a bedroom sliding glass door or the garage door). You don’t want your kitten thinking it can just leave through an open door at any time. 

Fostering kittens fills your heart - and arms - with love!  Photo by Cassidy Devore

Fostering kittens fills your heart - and arms - with love!  Photo by Cassidy Devore

Fostering Saves Lives!

Not sure if you and your family are ready for a kitten? Fostering helps shelters save more animals by giving them a loving home where they can grow and prepare for adoption outside the shelter.

Foster volunteers help young kittens get the care they need, giving them a great start to life. Fosters often meet the people who want to adopt their foster kittens, and get to tell them all about the kittens. Fostering can take as little as a week or up to two months, depending on the pet. At CAT, the kitten foster program includes training, assistance from a mentor, preventive kitten care, and more. All you need is a spare bathroom or bedroom and the desire to help. Learn more at catadoptionteam.org.


Kristi Brooks is the director of operations at the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) and lead trainer for the Fostering 4 Rock Stars program. She is regularly invited to speak at national animal welfare conferences about successful community collaboration and best practices for kitten fostering. Kristi lives in Tualatin, Oregon with her husband, daughter, and Kate the cat.

Found a kitten — now what?

Cat Adoption Team offers important dos and don’ts in the event you find a kitten or kittens this time of year, which can happen during the aptly-called “kitten season.” Following is an overview of points.  Read the full article and find more tips, resources and videos at catadoptionteam.org.

  • Most kittens are not abandoned by their mother. Before moving the kittens (and only do this if their location puts them at risk), learn what to do when you find kittens outdoors
  • Be sure to keep the mother cat and kittens together; separating them can cause problems for both the kittens and mother.
  • Provide cat food and make sure there is access to fresh water.
  • Never confine a lactating female cat to a cage or trap — her kittens need to feed every few hours and she will be a risk for mastitis if she can’t nurse her kittens
  • If you cannot find the mother cat, read about how to care for newborn kittens and neonatal kitten care.
  • If you wish to socialize and care for the kittens yourself, please first learn what it takes to care for very young and/or feral kittens

“Kitten Season” begins at Cat Adoption Team

First kittens of the season arrive for adoption

SHERWOOD, OR (April 16, 2015) – The Cat Adoption Team (CAT) will welcome its first kittens for adoption from the shelter on Friday, April 17. The incoming kittens mark the beginning of “kitten season,” the time between late spring and early fall when the largest number of kittens enter shelters.

This group of about 25 kittens — ranging in age from 8 weeks to 6 months old — come to CAT from Great Plains SPCA as part of CAT’s Nine Lives Transfer Program. The transfer will help ease crowding at the Midwest shelter and provide these felines with more chances for adoption. 

“Cats and kittens in our own neighborhood remain our first priority,” said Karen Green, CAT’s executive director, “and our senior, special needs, and other more challenging-to-place cats continue to come almost exclusively from our local area.  As long as we can continue to help local animals, CAT is pleased to be able to save the lives of these homeless kittens who started out a little farther from our doorstep.”

 Those interested in adopting one of these kittens can meet them during regular adoption hours beginning Friday, April 17, at the Cat Adoption Team’s main shelter. All adoptions are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone planning to visit the shelter should note that not all of the kittens will be available for viewing and/or adoption on that day.

 The shelter is open noon-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and noon-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Adoptions end 30 minutes prior to closing. 

 Cat Adoption Team is located at 14175 S.W. Galbreath Drive in Sherwood, Ore.

 # # #

About the Cat Adoption Team

The Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the Pacific Northwest’s largest non-profit, feline-only shelter committed to finding a home for every cat it takes in. CAT’s mission is to save the lives of homeless, unwanted, sick, and injured cats and to work with our community to provide feline expertise and quality programs and services for people and cats. CAT has found homes for nearly 35,000 cats and kittens since it opened in May 1998. As a 501(c)(3) publicly supported charity, CAT relies on the generous support of individuals and organizations

 

Sweet 16 for Life-Saving Team

The Portland area can proudly claim to be among the safest in the nation for homeless pets. With unprecedented high save rates and steadily-shrinking euthanasia rates, the community is fighting back the epidemic pet overpopulation and overcrowded shelters that still claim the lives of more than three million animals every year in the US. 

Across the country, shelter euthanasia rates are significantly higher for cats than for dogs, and Portland is no different. But Portland-area cats have notable, formidable, and highly determined allies in the fight to see fewer and fewer of them die in local shelters.  Specifically, the region boasts the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland and its 10 member organizations, including Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood, which is the largest guaranteed-adoption cats-only shelter in the Pacific Northwest. 

Tucked into an unassuming building in a suburban industrial park, Cat Adoption Team, or CAT, turns 16 this month.  When CAT opened its doors in 1998 with 35 adoptable felines, cats entering other local shelters had less than a 50% chance of leaving alive.  “That’s really the way it is in pretty much every community, even those that are doing well with dogs;” says CAT Executive Director Karen Green.  “Almost universally cats are behind dogs in save rates.”  Jumping feet-first into the area of greatest need, CAT vowed to shelter only cats, and to save every healthy or treatable feline in their care.  Within two years the shelter had adopted out 1,000 cats. 

In 2006 – the same year CAT celebrated its 10,000th adoption – the shelter joined nine other founding organizations to launch The Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland.  The Alliance intentionally dubbed itself ASAP to underscore the urgency of its mission.  Aggressively working a strategic mix of spay/neuter programs, education, outreach, and adoption promotions, ASAP hopes to end euthanasia of all healthy or treatable animals in area shelters.  Member shelters agree to email or call each other to network animals that previously would have been euthanized for space, health, or behavioral reasons.  CAT – with its on-site veterinary clinic, network of foster providers, and feline-only environment – often can take felines who are doing poorly in other settings and help them get adopted. 

The majority of CAT’s felines come from other organizations.  “In 2013, over one-third of our cats came from Multnomah County Animal Shelter,” says Green.  “About 85% came from shelters throughout the area and beyond, including over 300 from Willamette Humane in Salem.” Although Salem sits outside of ASAP’s geographic reach, Portland-area efforts have been successful enough that shelters occasionally have room to relieve overburdened shelters in communities without the networking power of an organization like ASAP.

Now, as area shelters gear up to celebrate June as Adopt-a-Cat Month, CAT’s Sherwood shelter might as well be Party Central. Community-wide, shelters now save 87% of the cats they receive. The big push for adoptions and spay/neuter are paying off.  CAT provides over 3,000 spay/neuter surgeries and 2,500 adoptions a year.  The shelter has nine remote adoption locations, a cat food bank, 600 active volunteers, and 100 foster homes.

Having nearly doubled the save rate for shelter cats in just a few years, ASAP’s ultimate goal of eliminating unnecessary euthanasia feels within reach.  It will happen, says Green, but the next 4% increase in the save rate might take as much effort as the first 40% boost.  “It’s addressing those last few harder-to-help cats now.  We’ve saved the healthy cats and dogs.  Now we’ve raised the bar and we’re saving the ones that have treatable health or behavior problems.”

Sitting at her desk with her office cat Fuchsia purring beside her, Green says this 10-year-old black cat is one example of the rescues that will take more effort and resources.  Fuchsia was adopted through CAT when she was young and came back to the shelter years later when her adopter died.  “At her age, she’s really low-maintenance.  I think the best fit for a lot of people is a low-maintenance cat versus a young and crazy cat that’s going to be knocking things down and climbing up curtains and pant legs.”  But many adopters are drawn to kittens and pass up the middle-aged and older cats.  “So it’s about changing things in the community to find those opportunities for cats,” she says.

Getting the save rate closer to 100% will also require investment in treating illnesses and behavioral problems.  Most conditions are treatable, but can overtax a shelter’s human or financial resources.  For example, it can take four weeks to treat ringworm.  “That’s extremely time-consuming and expensive; last year we treated 60 cats for ringworm even though our designated ringworm room has space for only five cats.”  If shelters can invest the weeks of treatment, however, cats can go on to live full, healthy lives.  Still others will live long and happy feline lives if they find adopters who can administer daily insulin for their diabetes or treat similar chronic but manageable conditions.

Buying these cats the time they need will require more community support, Green says.  More people opening their homes to foster pets would provide them the precious time to complete a course of antibiotics for a respiratory infection, wean a litter of kittens, or take a break from the stress of shelter life – all of which help make the animals more adoptable.  Shelters will need to provide more comfortable environments as well, which requires a healthy supply of shelter volunteers and likely means more financial support for capital improvements.

Green’s current project is making shelter improvements such as adding portals that allow cats to move from one kennel to another.  “We need to find a way of giving the care they need so you see them in a less stressful environment,” she says.  Soon each cat will have an individual behavior plan.  For younger, more active cats, the plan might include regular playtime that involves jumping and tumbling after enticing toys.  Others might be soothed by regular lap time or brushing and grooming sessions.  “We see these sassy cats that get swatty in the shelter.”

Green points out that grumpy cats are likely to get passed up by adopters, but they usually have completely different personalities in a less stressful environment.  “If people take a chance and adopt them, they report back later and say they never see that behavior at home.”  For most health and behavioral problems, reducing stress and creating shelter environments where cats can do better and stay longer is the key to saving more lives.

While year-round work focuses on putting more adult cats into adoptive homes, June also marks the beginning of kitten season.  “If you don’t work in this field, you might not recognize what a problem it is.  Because cats are pretty seasonal breeders, cat rescue is a fairly seasonal business.  Not that there aren’t cats needing help the rest of the year, but during that time of year, the shelters need more help from the community, more donations, more volunteers, more foster providers.”

Kitten season is the reason that National Adopt-a-Cat month falls in June each year, raising awareness and working to draw more adopters into local shelters.  Even with Portland’s highly successful delivery of spay/neuter services throughout the community, annual kitten season brings too many deliveries of its own, and shelters have their individual strategies for the season.  At CAT, the last Saturday in June is Kitten Palooza.  At the Sherwood shelter, CAT will showcase 75-100 kittens in the group’s largest adoption event of the year.  Even kittens who aren’t yet old enough to go home can meet their future families and be pre-adopted during the event.

The kitten adoption blitz helps manage the shelter crowding and increased illness rates that typically accompany kitten season, and helps reserve shelter and staffing resources for the harder-to-save adult cats who need more time to meet their future adopters.  The strategies are labor-intensive and time-consuming, but they’re working.  Still, says Green, “We can do better than an 87% save rate with Portland cats. There are more lives to be saved.”


Michelle Blake lives and writes in Salem with three big dogs, three cats, and one very patient husband. She serves on the Oregon State Council of The Humane Society of the United States and is active with Fences for Fido, which builds fenced yards to free dogs from chains.

Kitten Baby Shower

It’s kitten season and BrightSide Animal Center has sweet, tiny, fluffy kittens who need your help. Join them for a kitten baby shower on Saturday, May 10, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the shelter, 1355 N.E. Hemlock Ave. in Redmond.  They will be serving cake and punch, and conducting tours of the nursery too.

From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., training will be offered for individuals and families who are interested in fostering kittens. Kittens are placed in foster homes for basic care and socialization until they are old enough to be adopted.  Foster applications will be available at the shower. To learn more about fostering in your home, please visit http://brightsideanimals.org/join-us/foster-in-your-home.

If you’d like to bring a shower gift, please see the wish list:

Kitten milk replacer and bottles

Purina kitten chow in 4-pound bags

Mainstays brand food scale

Cat carrier

Litter box

Used towels, blankets and beds

Gift cards

Cash donations

For more information, please call the shelter at 541-923-0882.

###

Contact: Sana Hayes, event coordinator, 541-923-0882 or  volunteer@brightsideanimals.org.

It’s Raining Kittens!

Kitten Baby Shower will support the foster program at the Cat Adoption Team 

This little guy is just one of the hundreds of kittens who will receive lifesaving foster care, veterinary attention, and adoption services through the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) this year. Photo by: Nancy Puro.

This little guy is just one of the hundreds of kittens who will receive lifesaving foster care, veterinary attention, and adoption services through the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) this year. Photo by: Nancy Puro.

(Sherwood, OR) – The words “kitten season” may seem like a lot of fun, but for animal shelters, this time of year means a hefty shelter population spike that requires additional resources. The Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is gearing up for another busy kitten season. With the help of volunteer foster families and the generous support of the community, CAT’s Kitten Foster Program will save the lives of hundreds of kittens and mama cats this year. 

Please join us for the second annual Kitten Baby Shower. Play shower games, enjoy treats supplied by Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery in Tualatin, Ore., and give a gift in support of CAT’s kitten foster program. 

When:  Saturday, April 12, 2014,  1 – 2:30 pm (open house; drop by any time during the shower) 

Where:  Cat Adoption Team – The Playhouse Kitten Room,  14175 SW Galbreath Dr., Sherwood, OR 

What:  Baby shower for the kittens in support of the Kitten Foster Program at CAT

Refreshments,  fun and games, learn about fostering, meet adoptable cats and maybe even some kittens                                                             

Gifts:                     Bring a gift for the kittens: tiny.cc/KittenWishList                                          

 RSVP:                    Not necessary, but you may RSVP on CAT’s Facebook event page

 Learn more about the foster program at catadoptionteam.org/foster.

 -###-

About the Cat Adoption Team 
The Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the Pacific Northwest’s largest non-profit, feline-only adoption guarantee shelter. CAT’s is to save the lives of homeless, unwanted, sick, and injured cats and to work with our community to provide feline expertise and quality programs and services for people and cats. CAT has found homes for more than 32,000 cats and kittens since it opened in May 1998. As a 501(c)(3) publicly supported charity, CAT relies on the generous support of individuals and organizations. Find CAT on Facebook (facebook.com/catadoptionteam) and on 
Twitter (twitter.com/catadopt).

 

 

All Local Animal Shelters Stretched to the Limit

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Shelters of the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP), strained to capacity by a wave of relinquished cats and kittens, are urging the public to adopt a new feline companion this week. This might be one of the largest selection of felines Portland has
ever seen. Currently, five local shelters are caring for over 1,200 cats and kittens and continue to receive daily requests from the public to take in more. Close to 600 kittens and 620 adult cats are looking for loving families at the shelters. This surely is the greatest variety of cats ever seen and the public is guaranteed to find their furry soulmate now.

"If you are thinking of adopting, now is the time," said Sharon Harmon, executive director of the Oregon Humane Society. "We have cats in all colors, sizes and personalities."

Summer is the busy season for animal shelters, particularly when it comes to cats. Cats are seasonal breeders, so in the late spring, "kitten season" hits, and people start bringing kittens (often with their mothers) to animal shelters. This drives up the population at the shelters and enables adopters to find their "purrfect" cat companion.

A recent influx of cats and kittens has left the Oregon Humane Society, the Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter, Multnomah County Animal Services, Cat Adoption Team and Humane Society for SW Washington stretched to the limit - some with crates stacked to the ceiling. All five shelters are part of the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP) - a coalition of the largest
animal welfare organizations in the region dedicated to ending needless euthanasia of cats in the Portland Metro area.

ASAP partners are pulling out all the stops to help cats and kittens in need right now-training foster families, holding special adoption events, and keeping in touch with each other daily to transfer animals from shelters that have run out of space to others that can help. "We're taking as many cats and kittens as we can from our county shelter partners," said Karen Green, executive director of Cat Adoption Team, "But we can only bring them in as quickly as we're able to find good new homes for the cats and kittens in our care." This also means that CAT is currently not accepting cats directly from the public so that they can focus on helping ASAP partners through their shelter transfer program. Additionally, at the Oregon Humane Society, there are currently over 250 cats on a waiting list to come to the shelter for adoption.

"We're in a win-win situation at this time - the public finds the perfect cat and helps us open up a space for another cat in need of a loving home," adds Lisa Feder, Operations Director at the Humane Society for SW Washington. "Saving lives is a community effort and we need the public to help us achieve a community where cats can receive the help they need and the home they deserve."

The public is urged to visit their local animal shelter this week to adopt a cat or kitten. New volunteers and foster families are welcomed, along with financial donations. If you are considering rehoming your cat, there may be resources that can help you keep your cat rather than add it to the crowded shelter population. Most shelters have information on their websites that
can help resolve behavior problems, find pet-friendly housing, or find a new home for a pet without going to a shelter.

The ASAP shelters with cats and kittens waiting for their new homes are:

Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter, 1901 SE 24th Ave. Hillsboro, OR 97123;
(503) 846-7041;  www.WashingtonCountyPets.com

Cat Adoption Team, Sherwood, 4175 SW Galbreath Drive, Sherwood, OR 97140;
(503) 925-8903; www.catadoptionteam.org<http://www.catadoptionteam.org>

Humane Society for SW Washington, 1100 NE 192nd Avenue, Vancouver, WA 98684

(360) 693-4746, www.southwesthumane<http://www.southwesthumane>.org

Multnomah County Animal Control, 1700 W Columbia River Hwy., Troutdale, OR
97060; (503) 988-7387; www.multcopets.org<http://www.multcopets.org>

Oregon Humane Society, 1067 NE Columbia Blvd. Portland, OR 97211; (503)
285-7722; www.oregonhumane.org<http://www.oregonhumane.org>

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The five shelters listed above are all members of the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP), a group of ten organizations dedicated to ending the euthanasia of social, healthy, and treatable cats and dogs in our local shelters by collaborating on spay/neuter programs, educational and outreach efforts, and the promotion of humane alternatives for feral cats.
By working together, ASAP partners have ensured that no healthy, adoptable cat or dog has been euthanized in our local shelters since 2010. And most cats and dogs with treatable health or behavioral problems are also being saved (so far, none have been euthanized in 2013). www.asapmetro.org<http://www.asapmetro.org>