Uploaded: Thursday, June 16, 2022
By Marcia Maeda
My first cat was a beautiful white cat named Murphy. Murphy was born into the home of a “cat lady” who lived in the neighborhood, feeding dozens of cats without a sterilization program that reduced their population growth. Murphy was first adopted as a kitten by our neighbors, but their successful cat would not tolerate having another cat in the house. So Murphy came to live with us; I had him for the rest of his life. My favorite memory of him was how he slept in bed with me, his cheek against his cheek, his hands wrapped around my neck, muttering with satisfaction as we both went to bed.
Murphy was born in a normal situation where unsterilized stray cats breed and create homeless cubs. Murphy had a mother who raised her children while they were weaned, at which point she found a new home. The best option for him was to grow up by his mother. he had his nutrients, the benefits of getting immunity from his milk, he was better positioned to move to his new home.
The DACC is regularly contacted by well-meaning people who have found young kittens who are not yet able to eat on their own and want to take them to a pet care center. However, this is not always the best option for kittens. There may be a mother caring for them, it is better for them to stay with her until they are weaned. Bringing non-lactating kittens to a pet care center can expose them to viruses carried by asymptomatic adult cats, which the cat’s underdeveloped immune system cannot fight. There are no staff in the care centers who feed the uncut babies every few hours, around the clock. Consequently, these cubs can be euthanized if there is no foster home for them. If the kittens are clean, healthy and have a full stomach, their mother will take care of them և no intervention is needed until they are weaned, then they should be neutered or sterilized և placed in new homes.
If the kittens are thin, sick, or unclean, the mother may be injured or otherwise unable to care for them. In these cases, the cubs need help, but there is still a better option than bringing them to a pet shelter. DACC has a care plan for residents who want to rescue a kitten. We provide all the necessary supplies and training, as well as tips along the way. Many kind people have taken their kittens for a few weeks as long as they are old enough to adopt, and have even taken part in finding homes for the kittens.
With the generous support of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, an additional program for the care of kittens has become possible. ASPCA started working with us on the Pee Wee kitten program in the fall of 2016. The ASPCA has an intervention program at our Down և Baldwin Park Animal Welfare Center, where they provide registered veterinarians to assess each kitten and send them to care. houses that day. RVTs are operated from DACC Ani-Safe Trailers, which are fully functional portable animal care trailers that can accommodate personnel, animals in emergencies or other emergencies.
This public-private partnership has saved more than 8,000 cubs since its inception and now supports all seven of our care centers. In addition to the Pee Wee program, ASPCA has been a strong partner in reducing euthanasia, helping people redeem their stray animals, increasing adoptions, relocating animals to other animals in need of adoption, and providing resources to help people. community cats և etc.
Murphy’s law says that what can go wrong will pass. However, we do not need to fall victim to Murphy’s law when we encounter unborn cubs. Here’s what to do.
1. If mom is with them, leave them alone. Follow the rubbish, socialize them so that they are acceptable when weaned.
2. If the mother is not with them, assess their condition. Are they clean, healthy, with a warm, full stomach? Mom probably takes good care of them. Keep following the family, take the first step.
3. If the puppies are thin, sick or dirty, they may need your help. Think about waste promotion. The DACC will provide you with all the resources (milk substitutes, etc.) you will need to be available to give advice along the way, including how to find their homes when the time is right. This is a fantastic way to teach children about caring և responsibility without long-term responsibilities.
4. If you are unable to care for your puppies և living in a DACC service area, contact our call center to arrange to bring them. If they are healthy enough to care for, we will join the ASPCA Foster Volunteer Network or our own network to receive. their foster home.
5. For more information on cat care, visit the DACC website https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/got-kittens/.
By following these steps, we can help vulnerable pups progress through their fragile early weeks by getting as much support as they need, starting with their mother’s care. The above suggestions save lives, involve the community in our animal welfare mission. Please spread the word և Consider becoming a foster parent with DACC (check https://animalcare.lacounty.gov/become-a-foster-caretaker/) or with ASPCA w:www.aspca.org/FosterLA:. Thank you for more than 8000 pups.
Marcia Maeda is the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Welfare and Control.
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