TAVARES —As “kitten season” fast approaches, the Lake County Animal Shelter is inviting residents to drop off gifts for newborn community cats.
The shelter is accepting IAMS wet and dry kitten food, kitten powdered milk formula, scoopable litter and litter boxes, kitten baby bottles, baby blankets and crib sheets, turkey or chicken baby food, heating pads, pet toys and cat carriers. These items will be given to foster volunteers who nurse kittens through the most difficult time in their young lives – the first eight weeks.
“Just like every spring, the shelter will inevitably take in dozens of newborn kittens picked up by well-meaning residents, and we will do all in our power to save them with the help of our foster volunteers,” said Whitney Boylston, Shelter Director. “However, we encourage citizens not to take kittens from the care of their mother, and rest assured that momma knows best in how to care for her young. Don’t assume kittens are abandoned. Often the mother cat is nearby, and we know that the kittens have the best chance of survival if they remain with her until they are weaned.”
However, for kittens who are abandoned or need urgent medical treatment, the shelter is offering volunteer foster training – along with all the supplies needed – to help them get up to two pounds and eight weeks old – when they can be vaccinated, spayed or neutered, microchipped and adopted. During this transition period, kittens are easily cared for and can be housed in a spare room, laundry room or even a bathroom, before they are returned to the shelter to find their forever homes.
To sign up as a foster, visit https://lakecountyfl.gov/offices/animal_services/how_to_help.aspx.
Lake County also offers the Spay/Neuter Rebate program to help full-time residents with the costs of spaying or neutering their pets, including community cats. The program allows residents to bring their pet to a licensed veterinarian to receive the procedure, then complete an application for up to a $50 rebate per animal, limited to 12 pets per household per fiscal year. Applications can be submitted online with supporting documentation at www.lakecountyfl.gov/LCAS.
For more information, call 352-343-9688, visit www.facebook.com/LakeCountyAnimalShelter or www.twitter.com/LakeShelterPets.