[caption id="attachment_18472" align="alignright" width="218" caption="Uno, the last neonate rescued in 2011"][/caption]
APA! also rescues many pregnant mom cats, getting them quickly into foster homes in an attempt to keep them stress-free and healthy so they can deliver healthy babies. In fact, in 2011, there were 124 baby kittens born in APA! foster homes! If mom cats are healthy with healthy kittens, and have small litters, APA! will place orphaned babies with them to get the nurturing, socialization and colostrum that only a mom cat can provide. In just the past few days, we have rescued Bella a pregnant mom who we expect to deliver in the next week or so, and 3 orphaned babies.
Since its inception, the growth of the Neonatal Kitten Program has been substantial. In 2009, baby kittens were rescued only as foster homes were available. In September of that year, thanks to the donation of a vintage Spartanette trailer, the program had a home. A year later the nursery moved to the facility on Manchaca, and with added space and closer proximity to the APA! Medical Clinic, the program saved 801 kittens. For 2012, the goal is simply to continue rescuing every single neonate and pregnant mom cat that end up at Austin Animal Center. With a mild, somewhat wet winter, we expect to far exceed the 1,032 lives from last year.
[caption id="attachment_18550" align="alignright" width="298" caption="Bella, first pregnant mom cat of 2012, with her new babies"][/caption]
APA! is also sharing lessons, protocols, and infrastructure planning with other area shelters and anyone who attends the upcoming AmPA No Kill Conference that begins on February 25th. The goal is to teach other shelters and rescue organizations how to create and sustain their own Neonatal Ward.
In just a few weeks, the nursery will be relocated to the Town Lake Animal Center (TLAC) facility located at 1156 W. Cesar Chavez. We are in need of many supplies, and are having a donation drive all through February! Donations can be dropped off at TLAC. Specific items include::
Digital kitchen scales or postal scales (must be able to weigh in grams)
KMR Brand Kitten milk replacer in powder form, available at Petco, Tomlinsons or onlilne>