Temporary homes needed for kittens

Photo by Emy Lynn Roque Cisneros Kittens Charlie, Curly, Moseha and Larry smoosh together for a photo at Surface Creek Animal Shelter in Cedaredge on July 5. These kittens came to the shelter on June 10 and are almost big enough to be spayed/neutered. The

Do you have a little extra space in your home and some love to share? Surface Creek Animal Shelter is looking for four foster homes for 15 kittens. The length of time needed for fostering varies -- some kittens only need a week, others need a home for a month.

Any length of time though would help, said Jacki Dapkus of the Friends of Cedaredge Animal Control (FCAC) board. A foster home could house a kitten, or two, for a couple weeks before heading out of town on vacation.

SCAS provides everything needed for foster families, including a pop-up kennel to contain the curious felines. In general it's okay if a foster home has other animals. What's most important is the ability to provide a safe space and some playtime.

No bottle feeding is required, as these little furballs are weaned and simply awaiting spay/neuter. Kittens aren't spayed/neutered until they're three pounds. This means many of these little felines at SCAS have to wait a month or more from intake until they're adoption ready.

When kittens stay in a shelter for an extended period of time, their overall risk of getting sick, often in the form of gunky eyes and a cough, rises. Then their length of stay is increased as they wait to get well.

Tootsie and Roll are two kittens recently neutered and were adoption ready. Then they caught a kitten cold. "If they could go to a foster home, they'd be better in a week, much faster than trying to recover here," said Dapkus.

Most of the kittens awaiting spay/neuter aren't sick. And Dupkus wants to keep it that way.

Even if a family could only take a kitten for a few days, being in a home and played with could make all the difference. Sugar and Boo Boo are ready to be spayed/neutered, but they're not tame enough for SCAS adoption standards. In this case a foster may only be needed for a few days until the kittens are ready.

The more tame a kitten, the better their odds for adoption.

Fostering is a great opportunity for kids and these kittens are a good short term project before school, said Dapkus. If a child has trouble letting the kitten go after fostering, SCAS can even come and get them.

SCAS is not predominantly foster-based since it has a building, but foster homes provide kittens the best chance at success in life and help them start life on the right paw.

"Every day they're not here and playing with people, the better their chances in life overall," said Dapkus.

Those interested in fostering can contact the shelter by calling 970-856-2346 or email surfacecreekanimalshelter@gmail.com. The process is easy, only requiring a home inspection for safety and some contact information.

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