After a slow start to kitten season this year, we are now officially in full force. The Nursery at APA! takes in any kitten under 6 weeks, as long as we have space and volunteer manpower to sustain a consistent feeding schedule. So far in 2011 we have rescued 162 kittens into the Bottle Baby program, of which 108 were unweaned. This includes an astounding 23 kittens rescued on April 22nd, and another 13 rescued two days later on April 25th.
APA! is the only rescue organization in Austin with a dedicated Bottle Baby Program. Last year, we rescued an astounding 801 kittens which was well over the program goal. This year, we are anticipating 1200 kittens, with the vast majority being unweaned & requiring around the clock bottle feeding. We have also seen much younger kittens (1-3 day olds) arriving at the shelter, and we are saving as many as we can. (If you'd like to donate toward caring for all these babies we took in in April click here: http://apa.chipin.com/kmr-for-april-babies)
Some of these kittens are so delicate & unable to nurse well on their own that we have our medical team assisting with tube-feeding kitten formula for these situations. Even kittens that are rescued with their mama, or bottle babies we can place with surrogate nursing moms often need supplemental bottle or tube-feeding. We never want to lose a baby once it's in our care, and this method is giving every single baby a fighting chance. As APA!'s Dr. McAndrew said about the kitten featured in this photo, "as long as he fights to live, we're going to fight along with him."
The most critical need we have in the nursery & in our foster homes is Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR brand) formula. This photo features "Kip" - a sweet orange tabby boy who came in with so much nasal congestion that he couldn't nurse from a bottle. He was tube-fed for two weeks, and is finally loving his bottle (and the mirror!). It will cost APA! $18 to provide enough formula to sustain him until he can be successfully weaned to kitten food. Just for the 36 kittens mentioned above, this equals about $650 in formula costs. This call for formula is urgent, and every $18 contribution will help us save another kitten. We are accepting financial or KMR donations (KMR powder can be found at Petco and Tomlinson's - drop off is at 2807 Manchaca Road). You can also donate online with ChipIn: http://apa.chipin.com/kmr-for-april-babies
Can you help?
Photo 1 - "Lula" by Alicia Santana
Photo 2 - "Zoom" by Shorey Russell
Photo 3 - "Kip" by Shorey Russell