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Animal Services Seeking Foster Families for Homeless, Orphaned Kittens

An orientation is planned for Saturday at the Santa Maria shelter

Santa Barbara County Animal Services is looking for volunteers who are able to foster the homeless, abandoned kittens that are coming into its three shelters. Animal Services will be holding a Foster Parent Orientation for North County residents from 10 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Feb. 5 at the Santa Maria Animal Shelter, 548 W. Foster Road.

Every year, as the weather starts warming up, county shelters are inundated with litters of kittens. Some have nursing mothers with them; others arrive orphaned and so young that they must be bottle fed until they can eat on their own.

Most are healthy, thriving kittens that need a safe place to grow until they are old enough to be adopted into a loving new home. The shelters are not an ideal environment for underage kittens, and the county is turning to the community to help care for these little ones.

Fostering kittens is an excellent way to help the smallest members of the community without making the permanent commitment of adoption. All that is required is a safe and secure environment, some extra time and lots of love to share. Training is provided, and families are encouraged to apply.

Hundreds of kittens enter county shelters each year, the finders stating that they didn’t see the mother cat. If you find a litter of kittens you think may be abandoned, please call the local Animal Services shelter before removing the kittens. The Santa Maria shelter can be reached at 805.934.6119, the Lompoc shelter at 805.737.7755 and the Santa Barbara shelter at 805.681.5285.

Anyone interested in opening their home to a litter of orphaned kittens is invited to attend the Foster Parent Orientation on Saturday. For more information or to RSVP, call 805.934.6981. If you are unable to be a foster parent but still wish to help, donations of wet or dry Science Diet kitten food or Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR) are also needed.

— Susan Klein-Rothschild is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.


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