Spring is here, as with it comes new life and a higher call volume at the Fayette Regional Humane Society. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the society to close to the public, they are still here, caring for the animals.
“Every spring we receive several phone calls from people finding baby kittens and bunnies in the community. Everyone has a big heart and good intentions when they find them but sometimes they are unaware that certain species have their way of caring for their babies.” said Brad Adams, chief humane agent and outreach director.
It would not be unusual for you to come across litters of kittens or baby bunnies. For bunnies: Mother rabbits only feed their babies once to twice daily. If you find a nest, leave the babies alone. Mom will probably return soon. Once the baby’s eyes are open, they are usually ready to go out on their own. Raising baby bunnies is very difficult, and it is best to leave them where you found them and protect the nest from disturbances.
Cat breeding season is going on right now. You may find kittens alone while their mother is away looking for food. If they are clean, have rounded tummies, and not crying excessively, leave them alone. Mom will probably be back soon. You can help these kitties by bringing water to the area – food could attract predators, but if they are in a safe place, leave food close to their nest for mom to eat.
“If the kittens are exposed to the elements, it is very cold, or they are thin and crying, please bring them inside and give us a call. It is very important to keep kittens warm – use a well-wrapped heating pad or warm towels.” Said Dr. Lee Schrader, executive director.
Do not try to feed cold kittens. Kittens can be bottle-fed with a special formula called Kitten Milk Replacer that you can purchase at any pet supply store and feed through a bottle. If old enough, they can also take softened food. “At the Fayette Regional Humane Society, we can supply you with what you need.” Said Schrader. The Fayette Regional Humane Society tries to keep very young kittens out of their animal care and adoption center and with their mom.
The shelter environment is very stressful, and a kitten’s immune system is not fully developed, making them more susceptible to illnesses. If you find kittens and can care for them and their mom until the kittens are 7-8 weeks old, the humane society is usually able to accept the kittens into their adoption program. The FRHS wants to do the very best for the cats and kittens who need them – please call (740) 335-8126 if you find a litter of kittens or have any questions.