Orphaned kittens are the most fragile of homeless animals, and many shelters consider it too resource-intensive to care for them. For that reason, they often make up the largest single group of animals euthanized at many shelters. That was the case in Austin, TX, until veterinarian Dr. Ellen Jefferson and the team at Austin Pets Alive! put together a comprehensive kitten nursery program based on similar programs for orphaned wildlife. In conjunction with home-based foster care, the nursery program utilized existing resources in new ways, allowing them to save hundreds of kittens' lives and contributing to Austin becoming the largest no-kill city in America.
Dr. Jefferson (part 1) will walk you through nursery care and foster-based care, and Heidi Beyer of Dane County Friends of Ferals (part 2) will help foster caregivers with practical tips for orphaned kitten care.
Information covered will include:
· Misunderstandings about kittens that lead to mistakes in determining orphaned status.
· The basics of setting up a nursery program in your community.
· Recruiting and training volunteers for nursery and foster programs.
· How to feed and care for orphaned kittens during different life stages.
· Protecting kittens from infectious diseases.
· Responding to illness in young kittens.
· Housing, bedding and environment.
Date: March 2013
Presenter: Ellen Jefferson, DVM