(Placerville, CA) – Animal lovers in El Dorado County now have a unique opportunity to help local animals in need. El Dorado County Animal Services is currently looking for residents who would like to provide temporary foster care in their homes for abandoned and adoptable animals. "We especially have a great need for foster care homes for kittens right now," said Brittany White, Animal Services Shelter Supervisor. "Kitten season is in full swing, and we're seeing a big increase in mother cats and baby kittens coming into our shelter. Last week alone, we had 14 kittens come into the shelter and some of them need to be bottle fed. Animal foster families are crucial partners with Animal Services in giving kittens like this a good start."
Animal foster families serve as volunteers who give temporary, loving care in their homes for the animals while a permanent home is sought by Animal Services. The commitment to care for the animals usually lasts two to three weeks, though some volunteers may choose to provide care longer if the animal has a need or if the kitten is a newborn. Animal Services staff provides all supplies for the animals during their foster care stay (including food, bedding, a litter box and litter, etc.), and shelter staff are available to answer questions and offer supportive tips to care for the animals.
Volunteers interested in specifically fostering newborn kittens should be prepared for some extra care and time. "These sweet babies are going to need someone with an especially big heart," said White. "For very young kittens, the commitment can last up to four to six weeks and may involve feeding them multiple times per day. It can be a lot of work, but our volunteers say it's extremely rewarding. If a mother cat comes in with babies, we usually ask the foster family to take the mother cat and all of her babies. This is best for all of them."
According to White, Volunteers provide not only temporary shelter and care in their homes for the foster animals, but also important socialization and play time that helps the animals feel secure, loved and more adoptable. "Helping these kittens learn to play and trust others is a lifelong gift that their foster family provides," said White. For more information about Animal Services' Foster Program, please call (530) 621-5795 or visit www.edcgov.us/animalservices.
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