During the summer months, when infant kittens are entering our shelter at a faster rate than others are uniting with adoptive families, our foster care program kicks into high gear. Whatever space we lack in our facility, we make up for in the homes of dedicated foster care volunteers, who provide around-the-clock care to our orphaned animals while they await adoption. More than 250 households join in this lifesaving effort, and you would be hard pressed to find a staff member at the Richmond SPCA who hasn’t taken a turn (or eight or nine) bottle feeding neonatal kittens overnight or for the weekend throughout the summer months.
Since May, we have taken into our care more than 800 kittens. We placed more than 500 of them into foster care, including 175 unweaned kittens, and by the end of September, we estimate that we will have taken into our care more than 1,000 kittens total. This is tireless and resource-intensive work, but it is one of the most rewarding things that we do because we are guaranteeing a future to the most vulnerable companions among us. As the saying goes, it takes a village. At the Richmond SPCA we are fortunate to be surrounded by a community of committed staff, volunteers and supporters who make this lifesaving achievement possible.
As I’m writing this, my own foster kitten, Fitzgerald, is nibbling at my ankles and beckoning me to play with him. He entered my home as a foster care bottle baby on June 11, and my husband and I have decided we can’t live without him. As soon as he is big and healthy enough to be neutered, his foster care stint will come to an end, and he'll become a permanent member of our two- and four-legged family!
For information about our Meet the Fosters program, please visit us online.
Tamsen Kingry is the chief operating officer of the Richmond SPCA. To read her complete biography, or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting a comment.