Kitten season occurs annually and during the warmer months. It can start as early as March and end as late as October. Our staff members, volunteers, and foster parents work hard to save the lives of innocent kittens, and with funds raised through our annual Pennies for Pets fundraiser held in March, we were able to raise funds that helped us lay the foundation for the impact we can have on the community this year.
“In March,” our marketing manager, Alisia Sanchez, said, “we estimated that one foster parent can comfortably foster at least four kittens at one time. We established two very clear goals this year, to rescue 300 kittens and secure 75 foster parents. We knew we would not be able to rescue those kittens without foster parents. So, it was very important to pursue reaching the latter first.”
As a way to increase interest in fostering, we held our first Kitten Shower & Foster Care Program Open House, “Itty Bitty Kitties On The Way,” on March 12. We started the year with a mere seven foster parents and gained four more thanks to the event.
Today, we are happy to share that we’ve had 65 foster parents assist us this year. Of course, that number includes staff members who, in addition to working countless hours at the shelter, also dedicated time after hours to saving the lives of kittens.
One foster parent, Maryleigh Swift, fostered 14 kittens this year and another, Trudy Murphy, helped one shy kitten, Ricky (animal ID: 26450), gain confidence and improve his social skills (READ FULL BLOG). When we first welcomed Ricky on March 4, he showed signs of being sick. Our cat care associates monitored his fever and constantly checked his temperature for signs of improvement, which caused him to develop a defensive personality. Thanks to Trudy, Ricky was placed in a foster home that was welcoming and loving. He soon began to thrive and successfully found his furever home in July.
We are very pleased to share that as of September 11, thanks to our dedicated staff and foster parents, we have rescued 275 kittens so far, and we estimate we will exceed our goal very soon.
In 2020, at the height of COVID-19, we rescued 275 kittens with 45 foster families. Those numbers were difficult to replicate in the following years because as people returned to work, it was harder to find individuals who could provide kittens with the round-the-clock care they need.
To say the least, we are proud of our cat care associates and marketing team for not only achieving their goals in 2023, but also for surpassing them.
“In all honesty,” our cat care specialist, Anjanette Mendoza, said, “when the goals were mentioned, I thought it was going to be nearly impossible since last year, it felt like we were so limited on how we could help. I’m proud of not only the cats that have been adopted, but also the cat side team in general. Everyone works super hard every day over here to keep us able to continue helping the public and adopting out over 400 cats this year.”
Two kittens that made an impact on our cat care associates are Rigby (animal ID: 26710) and Mordecai (animal ID: 26711) (READ FULL BLOG). They had been found by a family in unstable condition by the side of their house. They were cold and stiff when the family brought them to our facility, and with the love and care our staff provided them with, the two adorable blue point kittens began to recover. They were placed in the care of Valerie and Lorenzo Castaneda, a mother and sun duo who have been fostering for about two years now. Receiving kittens who are ill is very common during kitten season, and we are thankful for the funds raised during Pennies for Pets for helping us prepare for these situations. After being in foster care, Rigby and Mordecai became available in August during our Clear the Shelters adoption campaign and found separate, loving homes to spend the rest of their lives in.
Currently, we have more than 100 kittens still in foster care and supplies are limited.
“One issue we’ve faced this year,” Alisia said, “is the cost increase of pet food. Generally, when we run low on wet food and we ask for help, for example, we receive many donations from our supporters. This year, we’ve still had people donate, but not as much as before, and we believe cost may be a factor.”
This fall, we’ve challenged educators to help us raise wet food for dogs and cats. We encouraged teachers to participate in our “Canned Wet Food Donation Drive Challenge,” which takes place September 18 through October 18. The class that raises the most food will win a pizza party and passes to our Halloween Trunk-or-Treat Car Show, and they can get their pizza delivered to their school by adoptables or visit us for pizza, adoptables, and a private class tour.
“We hope that our youth will be able to help us continue feeding the kittens in our care,” Alisia said. “Four classes signed up. It’s great to see educators teach their students how to be advocates for animals and give back to their community.”
To donate to our Cat Adoption Center, please remember to allocate your donation to the area in the drop-down menu of our online form. You may also view our Foster Care Program Amazon Wish List to purchase in-kind donations we are always in need of. Our priority today is wet food.
We thank you all so much for being part of this year’s kitten season! If you’d like to send our cat care associates an email of gratitude, simply email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valley Animal Center is dedicated to serving animal companions in the Central Valley and beyond. Our mission is to unite dogs and cats with loving people. We believe every animal deserves a loving family and furever home. Donate to support our endless mission as we care for hundreds of homeless dogs and cats.