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Save a life, foster a kitten

April 28, 2010

SFGate.com

Did you know that many Bay Area shelters are forced to euthanize thousands of kittens every year — most of them in the spring? Why? The majority of these abandoned kittens are born to feral cats. Too young to survive without their mother, they must be bottle fed until they can eat on their own. Right now, there simply aren't enough foster families to take care of them all.

The good news? You can help change their fate. It's easy to become a kitten foster family: you need only keep the kittens for about four weeks during which time the shelters provide all medical care and support. Once the kittens are about eight weeks old, you return the little guys to the shelters where they are spayed and neutered and put up for adoption.

The San Jose Animal Care Center takes in more than 11,000 cats and kittens annually, and nearly 2,500 of those are euthanized for no other reason than being too young. Deputy Director, Jon Cicirelli explains, "Kittens under 4 weeks need around-the-clock bottle feeding. We don't have the staffing levels to do this. The only way to save these babies is to get them into foster care as soon as they arrive."

While the East Bay SPCA doesn't euthanize animals, organizers are in desperate need of foster families. Allison Lindquist, executive director says, "Fostering is a fantastic experience, and a great way for people to make a huge difference — the difference between life and death — for these kittens."

By Amelia Glynn

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