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Thread: Most Wild Kittens Taken to Shelters Are Euthanized

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    Elite Member dougie's Avatar
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    Default Most Wild Kittens Taken to Shelters Are Euthanized

    MILLIONS of kittens found and taken to animal shelters each year are put to sleep | Mail Online

    MILLIONS of kittens found and taken to animal shelters each year are put to sleep

    • Many shelters are forced to euthanize kittens they receive as they are already overrun with felines and have limited resources
    • Kittens require extra care as they need to be bottled fed every two hours and are suspectible to disease until they are old enough for vaccinates
    • Some animal groups are forming kitten nurseries in partnership with shelters to reduce the number of kittens that are put down

    By Associated Press
    Published: 16:51 EST, 9 April 2014 | Updated: 17:03 EST, 9 April 2014

    The tens of millions of kittens that are born each year and taken to local animal shelters, many of which are overrun already with felines, will be put down.


    'The problem of community cats dying in shelters is one of the last major problems we in the animal welfare movement are tackling,' said Gregory Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, a leader in the no-kill movement that runs the largest animal sanctuary in the country.


    While people that find wild at litters have the best of intentions taking them to shelters, those facilities often turn top euthanasia as many are already overtaxed with cats already in their custody and limited resources are stretched even more as kittens require additional care.



    A kitten peeks out at the Best Friends Animal Society kitten nursery in the Mission Hills area of Los Angeles







    Casey stands with her kittens at the Best Friends Animal Society kitten nursery in the Mission Hills area of Los Angeles





    Kittens, which can't see, hear or do much else on their own for the first week, are difficult to care for because they need to be bottle-fed every two hours, are susceptible to disease until they can be vaccinated and need a place to stay until they're old enough to be spayed or neutered and put up for adoption.


    Castle says 'there's a ways to go' but he has seen a dramatic drop in deaths whenever his group connects a shelter with a local organization that traps, neuters and releases free-roaming cats. Wild kittens socialized early enough can be great pets, his group says.

    A staggering 40 million feral kittens will be born throughout the country this year, but 20 million of them will die at birth, said Becky Robinson, president of Bethesda, Md.-based Alley Cat Allies, which promotes trap, neuter and release and is the country's only cat advocacy group. Of those who survive, millions will be taken to shelters, where the majority will be euthanized. The explosive reproduction isn't tied to domestic cats because studies show 80 percent are sterilized, she said.


    Some shelters have opened volunteer- and donation-run nurseries. Thousands of feral kittens are saved at 24-hour facilities in California, Indiana, New Jersey, Texas, Illinois and other states. But the trend, started just a few years ago, needs more time to start making a real impact.



    A kitten is fed with the help of a syringe at the Best Friends Animal Society kitten nursery in the Mission Hills area of Los Angeles





    Nurseries need to work with neuter-and-release groups, animal control workers and shelters with aggressive adoption programs to reverse the massive numbers of feral cats, said Robinson and Janice Dankert, community cat program supervisor at Best Friends' headquarters in Kanab, Utah.


    Best Friends opened a 100-kitten nursery at the no-kill shelter it runs for Los Angeles Animal Services, and the nursery is full, said Marc Peralta, executive director of the group's Los Angeles chapter. People can't take kittens directly to the nursery Peralta's staff picks them up from the city's six shelters.


    Best Friends and 69 other groups joined forces two years ago to help the Los Angeles shelters end euthanasia. Over that time frame, the number of healthy, adoptable pets being euthanized has dropped from 17,400 to 9,075.


    Feral kittens are the biggest obstacles left. Of 9,075 healthy dogs and cats killed in 2013 in Los Angeles, 5,200, or 57 percent, were unweaned kittens. The same is true in varying numbers at shelters that euthanize across the country.



    A 4-day-old kitten is checked out of its incubator at the Best Friends Animal Society kitten nursery in the Mission Hills area of Los Angeles





    About 72 percent of all cats neonatal, feral or pets are killed in shelters, Robinson said.


    Last year, the LA nursery was able to take in 1,800 feral kittens, but it had to leave 6,200 behind at the city's shelters, Peralta said.


    The LA nursery is always accepting volunteers, Peralta said, because it has 100 mouths to feed every two hours.


    Sarita Carden, 59, of Los Angeles, volunteers two days a week, feeding kittens and socializing shy adult cats.


    'It's a great feeling, making a difference and knowing the kittens would have had zero chance if it weren't for the nursery,' Carden said. 'It takes time, it's hard work, it can be really messy, and it can be heartbreaking.'


    But the joy is overwhelming, she said.



    MILLIONS of kittens found and taken to animal shelters each year are put to sleep | Mail Online

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    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    Sweet babies!!!!!
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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    It's a shame. All of these beautiful animals and not enough homes for them. Breaks my heart. I wish people would be more responsible and think about what they're doing.
    ConstanceSpry likes this.

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