New nursery needs volunteers to bottle-feed kittens

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SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- The Best Friends Animal Society and Salt Lake County Animal Services held a kitten baby shower last weekend as they prepare to take responsibility for hundreds of new kittens

The shower marked the grand opening of a new kitten nursery, which is a joint project between the two organizations. The nursery is located in a special trailer at Salt Lake County Animal Services, 511 West and 3900 South. The nursery is in need of volunteers to help bottle feed the incoming kittens that were abandoned before they were weaned.

Temma Martin, Best Friends Animal Society, said the need for volunteers to help with kittens is greater at this time of the year.

"This is the time of year those of us in animal welfare call kitten season,” she said. “Most cats don't go into heat over the winter time, and they all go into heat very early in the spring—at the same time. Within weeks all the local shelters are absolutely flooded with kittens."

Neonatal kittens, also known as bottle babies, are some of the most at-risk animals at shelters. Because the kittens cannot feed themselves, they will die without someone to bottle feed them, according to a press release from Best Friends Animal Society.

The nursery will be climate controlled, and it will be open around-the-clock to allow volunteers to feed the kittens.

Foster and rescue coordinator Carrie Sibert, Salt Lake County Animal Services, said in a press release that the nursery accomplishes multiple goals.

“We’re opening the Kitten Nursery for a few reasons,” she said. “One is to help separate the kittens from the main population of animals. This helps limit their exposure to illnesses to keep them as healthy as possible. Another reason is to have a facility to house the Salt Lake County Bottle Baby program.”

The nursery has a goal to save 500 kittens this year. Kittens are one of the most common animals to end up in shelters, and they are the hardest pets to find homes for.

For more information about volunteering with the Kitten Nursery, please email Carrie Sibert at CSibert@slco.org.

Please check out the Kitten Nursery wish list at http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/registry.html?ie=UTF8&id=389WUTVGONCN9&type=wishlist to see what items can be donated to support these bottle babies.

To learn about volunteering for Best Friends Animal Society or adopting an animal, click here.