HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Huntsville Animal Services refers to the month of May as the start of "kitty" season. Sadly, their staff is seeing a larger number of cats and kittens than available foster families.
"We've used all our standbys so we need more, community help us, we really need some help," said Huntsville Animal Care Supervisor Karen Buchan.
Take Monday morning as an example. Two kittens, one boy and one girl, were dropped off at Huntsville Animal Services. Buchan said they are safe for now, but they need more care.
"They really need to be bottle fed, or fed with a syringe," said Buchan. "They're maybe between two and three weeks old."
Buchan said this is a part of a growing problem Huntsville Animal Services sees every day.
"Last week for example, we had 11 come in on one day, and they were all between three and four weeks old," Buchan said.
Buchan said the shelter's noisy atmosphere is not conducive to a nursing mother and her kittens.
"We don't want to keep them in the shelter, they need to be in a home environment," Buchan said.
This is where the community can help.
"I need foster volunteers, I need them to come in to us and be on standby, fill out the foster application, let us know you're interested and we will call you," Buchan said.
Animal Services said they basically ask that everyone living in the home agrees to foster, the person owns the house or has checked with the landlord. Buchan said they are also encouraged to have their own transportation. That is essentially all that stands in the way of a foster family and an animal in need.
"Right away, you come in, fill out the form, we'll check it out and verify everything, and you can foster right away," Buchan said.
For those who want to help, but can't foster, there are ways to help families who can.
"We are taking donations from the community for kitten food, Purina, Pedigree, wet food, dry food, kitty litter so that we can help those fosters with that," Buchan said.
The foster families are responsible for most, or all, of the food and cat litter. Animal Services takes care of all medical bills.
Buchan warns people to call the shelter if they see kittens without a mother nearby before they try to help.
"What we need to do is get the mom trapped, then get the babies so that when the babies are weaned, and she is no longer nursing, then we can get her spayed and take her back out," Buchan said. But, if they take those babies then we don't have the nursing mother."
If you would like to fill out a foster form, stop by Huntsville Animal Services at 4950 Triana Boulevard SW. If you have any questions, call the shelter at (256) 883-3783.