SPCA Napier Centre animal attendant Rachel Sumner is part of a large team devoted to the welfare of animals. In this weekly column, Rachel talks about some of the pets which have passed through the centre and those still waiting to find their 'forever home'.
Did you know that kitten season is around the corner?
Here at the Napier centre, this is our busiest, and cutest, time of year where we see the largest number of incoming animals through our doors. Typically lasting from December through to April, we can see kittens arrive as early as September, right up until June.
Right now our SPCA teams are preparing for the pitter-patter of hundreds of tiny feet by putting together essential foster family packs. Our foster families are vital to SPCA and help raise these vulnerable babies in their homes until they're big enough to be desexed and find forever homes of their own.
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When a foster family sign on with us they receive everything they will need to give our kittens the best start in life. Our foster packs include everything from blankets and litter trays to newspaper and kitten milk formula. All our foster families need to do in return is provide a temporary loving environment for our young and vulnerable animals.
So as we gather our kitten season essentials in preparation for the many animals to come, we ask that if you have ever thought of opening your heart and your home to foster animals, then reach out to your local SPCA centre.
We have some families who will take big litters with a mother cat, some that only take single orphan kittens, some who care just for bottle-feeding kittens, and some who take the timid kittens who need to learn that humans are fun.
A home environment is the best place for a kitten to grow happy and strong, and research proves there are much better outcomes for animals in foster care rather than in a centre environment, which can be a stressful place.
It takes a village to raise a kitten, and in addition to our incredible foster families, our community keeps us supplied with valuable donations of towels, blankets, flannels, fitted crib sheets, newspapers and animal essentials. With such a supportive community we are in for a smooth season ahead.
■ SPCA Napier Centre is located at 31 Mersey St, Pandora, and is open Monday to Saturday, 10am-2.30pm. All animals ready for adoption are desexed, microchipped, vaccinated, have had flea and worm treatment, and a vet check. Kittens cost $200 to adopt, adult cats $125, puppies $300 and dogs $250. To find out more about desexing your cat ahead of kitten season, or to enquire about fostering with your local SPCA centre, visit www.spca.nz