Kitten season began in March and in the first three months, 2,700 kittens and cats have arrived at Town Lake Animal Center, a 50% increase from last year.
From October (the beginning of TLAC’s fiscal year) through February, cat intake was slightly up compared to last year – almost 4%, while dog intake was up higher- over 7%.
But in March, the cat intake soared, presumably due to the start of kitten season. Interestingly, dog intake has dropped over these months.
By law, TLAC holds strays for 72 hours for their owners to find them. But animals turned in by their owners do not get that hold period. TLAC is so full that many wonderful cats, surrendered by their owners, are being immediately killed because they have no room.
Instead of dropping kittens off by the box-load at TLAC where they will likely be euthanized, it is important for the community to understand how they can help take care of the kittens.
If someone finds a lone kitten or an entire litter, there are additional resources available so s/he can care for them and save them from potential euthanasia. We have a list of instructions on handling found kittens online.
And instead of dropping a pet off at TLAC, we urge Austinites to contact our PASS (Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender) team for help. We usually do not have the space to take animals from the public (we focus on TLAC’s euthanasia list), but we have volunteers who can help people solve the problems that are causing them to need to give up a pet. In cases where the pet must be rehomed, we can offer advice and some assistance.
Since March, APA! has saved more than 1,100 cats and kittens from dying at TLAC, but many are still being left behind. Because orphaned kittens younger than four-weeks-old must be handfed hourly, the APA! bottle baby trailer and foster homes need the community’s help taking care of these adorable animals, so that more can be saved. We need adopters, fosters, volunteers, and donors.