TAVARES – It’s raining cats, and that’s a problem this time of year for shelters across Central Florida.
“It’s kitten season, which means Lake County Animal Services will be seeing dozens of kittens dropped off at the shelter weekly,” said Brian Sheahan, director of the county’s Community Safety & Compliance Department. “Unfortunately, when kittens come into the shelter under eight weeks old and weighing less than two pounds, we are unable to vaccinate or sterilize the cats and their risk of illness increases.”
During this season, which spans from spring until fall, shelters will be flooded with kittens, many of whom are too young to be adopted but are eligible to go to temporary foster homes. Young kittens can be relatively easy to care for at home, as they can be housed in a spare room, laundry room or even a bathroom.
Foster families are needed to house these young animals for a short time until they are old enough to be returned to the shelter and be offered for adoption. Training is available through Lake County’s Volunteer Program for those interested in fostering cats or dogs by filling out an application at www.lakecountyfl.gov/volunteer.
Lake County Animal Services is also urging pet owners to take advantage of the county’s spay/neuter rebate program to help reduce the overwhelming number of unwanted animals that end up at shelters. Residents may bring their pet to a local veterinarian to have them sterilized, then complete an application through the county that will provide up to a $50 rebate. To review the program’s eligibility guidelines, visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/rebate. Rebate application forms can be downloaded and submitted online or obtained at Lake County Animal Services.
To find out more about Lake County Animal Services, or to adopt or donate funds to help with care of animals at the shelter, log on to www.lakecountyfl.gov/adopt, visit the shelter at 28123 County Road 561, Tavares, or call 352-343-9688.