The cats of Broward County are about to start churning out babies, and residents are being asked to help care for the incoming wave of orphaned newborn kittens.
"What's happening is that we're getting into what we call 'kitten season,' which is the high time for cats to breed," said spokeswoman Lisa Mendheim. "These cats are not going to survive without a foster person to feed them around the clock and help them grow."
The young dogs and cats often come into the shelter just days after they're born, according to a release, and aren't yet capable of taking care of themselves.
"We currently need residents who are able to bottle feed puppies and kittens which cannot eat on their own," said Tracie Rawls, the county's foster program coordinator, in the release. "The kittens and puppies must be fed around the clock every two-to-three hours in order to stay healthy and grow."
Mendheim said the time a young animal needs foster care differs in each case, but the goal is to get the baby up to two pounds and "where they're eating on their own," which typically takes around two months. Broward County Animal Care provides the foster parents with instruction, food, and bottles.
"It is time-consuming," she said. "We're talking middle-of-the-night-type stuff."
Additional information (and the foster parent application) is available on the county website, though Mendheim said the application process is "not long at all... we can usually send you home with a kitten or two that day."
If you have any other questions, she said to call Rawls at 954-359-1313, ext. 9271.