WEST PALM BEACH, FL- (April 22, 2021) When people find kittens outdoors without their mom, their first instinct may be to bring them inside or rush them to an animal shelter. But Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League suggests that may be hurting them more than helping them. Research shows, when kittens are separated from their mother, their chances of survival drop significantly.
When you find a litter of kittens, here’s what Peggy Adams Animal Rescue Leagues advises you should do:
- Do not interfere with the kittens as it may cause stress to the mother. If you really want to help, you can provide some food and water for the mother, placed a good distance from the nest.
- If you don’t see mom around, observe the kittens from a distance. The mother may be out looking for food, but she will most likely return.
- If the kittens are in immediate danger, like under a car or in a flooded area, find a safe place nearby to move them, but make sure they are still close enough for their mother to find them.
- If you have observed the kittens for 24 hours and are sure that the mother isn’t returning, you may pick them up and care for them. Newborn kittens need special care.
- If the mother comes back and is friendly, wait until the kittens are 2 pounds or 2 months old before bringing them and their mom to a veterinarian or to Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League to be vaccinated and spayed or neutered.
Now what happens if newborn kittens are brought into the shelter without their mother? Kittens under four weeks of age need round-the-clock care which most shelters are not equipped to provide.
Although Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League opened its Neonatal Kitten Nursery in 2016 as a revolutionary approach to saving the lives of newborn kittens that require 24-hour care to survive, it truly should be a last resort. The nursery is the only one of its kind in South Florida and, though it saved 584 kittens in 2020, its daily capacity is only 80 kittens.
What happens when the nursery is full? When this occurs, Peggy Adams’ only other option is to try to quickly find a foster home. Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League is always looking to train people on how to be a newborn kitten foster volunteer. Peggy Adams provides all the supplies, and the foster volunteer provides the love and daily care. To learn more about fostering, please visit PeggyAdams.org/Foster
Once the foster kitten is old enough to transition to solid food and to be spayed or neutered, foster volunteers can bring the kitten back to the shelter so it can be placed up for adoption and find its forever home.
“Most discoveries of newborn kittens do not call for human assistance and, in fact, no intervention is the best thing,” says Rich Anderson, Executive Director/CEO at Peggy Adams. “The goal is to keep the mother and kittens together to ensure the best chances for the kittens’ survival until the kittens are eating on their own and can be safely removed for socialization and adoption.”
Finally, if you have found a kitten, all of these resources and more are available for viewing online at PeggyAdams.org/Found-Kitten-Resources
About Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League:
Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League saves more lives than any other rescue organization in Palm Beach County and provides critical services to more than 30,000 animals each year.
The Mission of the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League is to provide shelter to lost, homeless and unwanted animals, to provide spay and neuter and other medical services for companion animals, and to care for, protect, and find quality homes for homeless and neglected companion animals, to advocate animal welfare, community involvement and education to further the bond between people and animals. Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity navigator, and is the first animal shelter in South Florida to become AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) accredited. Peggy Adams is an independent nonprofit animal rescue organization operating continuously since 1925. For more information and to donate, please visit PeggyAdams.org
Media Contact: Cara MacVane, Email; 561.685.2342
Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League Contact: Lauren Ellis, Email; (Office) 561.472.8845 / (Cell/Text) 267.767.8159