Operation Kindness has expanded its services with a new nursery to help care for neonatal kittens that are only a few weeks old and in need of round-the-clock care. The organization launched a $30,000 fundraising campaign to ensure the new program has the resources needed to care for orphaned kittens.
Addition of the new resource coincides with the period known in the animal welfare community as “kitten season,” which refers to the increase of kittens born from March through October. Female cats are more likely to become pregnant with an average litter size of three-to-five kittens. The best way to help most kittens is to leave them with their mother. Taking them to a shelter should be a last resort.
When neonatal kittens do enter a shelter environment, they are at an increased risk of being euthanized due to weakened immune systems and the inability to eat on their own until they’re about four weeks old. Kittens cannot be adopted until they’re at least two months old and weigh two pounds to ensure they’re healthy. Many shelters do not have the resources to accommodate this need.
With the mission to save more lives, Operation Kindness’ efforts to create the nursery bridges the gap for this vulnerable population of cats by providing a second chance at quality of life. Kittens will take refuge at the nursery until they can be paired with a foster family—a program that will continue to play a vital role in the health and wellness of homeless kittens. Once healthy and old enough, kittens will be available for adoption. Operation Kindness includes spay/neuter services and covers costs for specific treatments, such as heartworm care, wellness exams, and vet services for up to two weeks post-adoption.
“At Operation Kindness, we are always looking for opportunities where we can be of service to the animals that need us and the community,” said Ed Jamison, CEO of Operation Kindness. “Realizing there is a large gap in care for neonatal kittens, we are excited to create this special kitten nursery as a resource for our rescue partners. The expansion of our organization’s resources will allow more lives to be saved, and we are grateful for the support that has allowed us to make this happen.”
The new nursery is located in the Charles Jones & Madelaine Pfau Cat Wing at the Operation Kindness shelter. It includes warmers, incubators, blankets, bottles, formula and 24-hour care. Caregivers will provide feedings every two-to-three hours to regulate the kittens’ body temperature so they can thrive.
In addition to the fundraising campaign, Operation Kindness also launched an Amazon Wish List that allows members of the community to provide supplies that will ensure the organization continuously has the nursery stocked for care.