Spring is here and with it comes a higher call volume at the Fayette Regional Humane Society (FRHS).
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has caused FRHS to close to the public, staff members are still here to care for the animals who need them — they are just staying six feet apart.
“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, FRHS chief humane agent and outreach director. “It would not be unusual for you to come across litters of kittens or baby bunnies.”
According to Adams, for bunnies — mother rabbits only feed their babies once to twice daily. If a nest is found, the babies should be left alone as the 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 found and protect the nest from disturbances.
Cat breeding season is going on right now. Kittens might be found alone while their mother is away looking for food. If they are clean, have rounded tummies and are not crying excessively, leave them alone as mom will probably be back soon. These kitties can be helped 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, FRHS executive director.
Do not try to feed cold kittens. Kittens can be bottle-fed with a special formula called Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR) that can be purchased at any pet supply store and fed 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.
FRHS tries to keep very young kittens with their mothers and out of the animal care and adoption center. The shelter environment is very stressful, and a kitten’s immune system is not fully developed which makes them more susceptible to illnesses.
If kittens are found and both the mom and kittens can be cared for until the kittens are 7-8 weeks old, FRHS is usually able to accept the kittens into the 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.
The Fayette Regional Humane Society is a non-profit (501(c)(3), volunteer organization. They receive less than 2 percent of their support from governmental organizations and therefore must rely on donations, grants and fundraising to carry out their mission. The Humane Society is the only organization in Fayette County able to respond to calls about abused, neglected and injured domestic animals, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. To learn more about the Fayette Regional Humane Society, please visit their website at www.fayetteregionalhumane.org.