SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 24, 2020 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- The Sacramento
SPCA announced today that, since April 1, it has seen a 500% increase in
the number of underage kittens (younger than six weeks) come in to the
shelter at 6201 Florin Perkins Rd in Sacramento versus the same time period
While most of the public programs are currently suspended at the Sacramento
SPCA due to mandates surrounding COVID-19, the shelter is receiving a
record number of stray kittens being abandoned in front of the shelter or
dropped off by local citizens who are trying to help.
"Because the city shelter on Front Street and county shelter on Bradshaw
are limiting stray animal intake due to COVID-19, we are seeing more stray
animals in crisis - especially kittens - arriving at our doors," said
Sacramento SPCA CEO Kenn Altine.
The Sacramento SPCA typically cares for more than 600 underage kittens each
year, with about 10% of the kittens being under 6 weeks of age and arriving
without a mother to feed them. With the number of these neonatal kittens
already nearly exceeding the annual intake, the shelter is bracing for an
overwhelming kitten season.
"We need the public's help to address this issue - in education on leaving
kittens in place, in becoming 'bottle-baby' fosters, and in supporting our
spay/neuter programs through donations," Altine said. "The needs of animals
were not put on hold during this pandemic. We may be closed to the public,
but we are always here for the animals. We are the only haven for unwanted
animals and owners in crisis who need to surrender a cherished pet,
regardless of its age, breed, health or behavior."
The Impact of Suspended Spay & Neuter
In addition to an increase in stray animals abandoned at the Sacramento
SPCA, there is another looming concern: with spay & neuter programs
suspended for the last month due to COVID-19 and potentially into the next
month, animals that would have been altered are now able to reproduce,
compounding the current animal overpopulation problem.
The Sacramento SPCA operates the 7th largest spay & neuter clinic in the
nation, altering more than 18,300 animals annually and preventing hundreds
of thousands of unwanted animals from entering our region's shelters. The
clinic altered 11,867 cats and kittens in 2019, including nearly 4,000
additional cats that were altered during the Sacramento SPCA's Feral Cat
Clinic offered each Sunday.
With these services being suspended in April and potentially longer, public
animals and community cats have been left with the opportunity to reproduce
and overwhelm a region that already needs more access to spay & neuter
"We recognize that demand for low-cost spay and neuter services in our
region far outweighs the current capacity," said Altine. "With the shut
down of our spay & neuter services in April, the need to protect our
animals and community will be even greater."
The potential magnitude of this crisis is still uncertain, but with growing
animal overpopulation, limited shelter capacity and animals requiring
resources beyond the community's capacity, concerns are rising.
What to Do When You Find a Kitten
All local animal shelters recommend leaving the kittens where you found
them. In most cases, the mother is nearby or out hunting and will return
shortly. Kittens have a much better chance for survival with their mother,
so moving them should only be considered if they are in a life-threatening
or dangerous location.
When in doubt, follow this kitten guide for specific steps you can take to
give the kittens the best chance for survival; how to determine their age;
and when to get involved, including fostering them yourself:
How the Community Can Help
Foster. Donate. Repeat.
Because the shelter is currently receiving more neonatal kittens requiring
specialized care, they are actively recruiting fosters with previous
"bottle baby" experience to help with the current and impending kitten
storm. As these young kittens transition from bottle feeding to wet food,
they can be moved to other foster homes until they are old enough for spay
& neuter and adoption.
Foster parents experienced in caring for neonatal kittens are encouraged to
contact the Sacramento SPCA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the only full-service 100% non-profit animal shelter in the Sacramento
region, the Sacramento SPCA relies on donations from individuals,
businesses and foundations to support their work. They are local,
independent, and do not receive funding from state or local government
And with the closing of the Sacramento SPCA's public programs, the revenue
that provides a significant part of their income has disappeared. They are
asking the community to make monetary donations to ensure that they can
continue to support animals and people whenever and however needed,
including providing critical supplies like formula, bottles/nipples and wet
food to foster families during kitten season.
Donations can be made online or by mail to: Sacramento SPCA, 6201 Florin
Perkins Road, Sacramento, CA 95828. See: https://www.sspca.org/donate
About the Sacramento SPCA
Founded in 1892, the Sacramento SPCA has been providing homeless animals
with individual comfort, shelter, and love for more than 128 years. They
provide compassionate medical care to tens of thousands of animals annually
and offer a variety of programs and services designed to keep people and
pets together for life.
Learn more at: https://www.sspca.org/
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