PAWS Magazine

Issue 37, Spring 1998

From the heart

Spring is orphan season...

Last month, Roquel Williams brought in a day old kitten. "It’s the tiniest kitten I’ve ever seen," Roquel said. And, as one of our shelter supervisors, Roquel’s seen a lot of kittens! This little one had come in with his brothers and sisters. They were fortunate not to have been abandoned without the source of their nutrition, the mother cat.

It’s so cruel—but not so rare—that litters of unweaned kittens are dumped on our doorstep without their mom. Our staff starts off feeding them a formula gently administered through a syringe. Then our foster volunteers heroically accept these babies—and the formidable responsibility of nearly constant feedings—into their homes to raise them until they’re old enough to be returned to the shelter for adoption.

Baby squirrels at the PAWS Wildlife Center need the same intensive nutritional care. Whether they’ve been abandoned by their mothers or their nests disturbed, many infant squirrels come to us when they’re too young to make it on their own. But, unlike kittens, the squirrels need minimum contact with humans. During orphan season, our volunteer needs are in high demand to provide feedings for these babies at the Center or through a foster care arrangement. When they are ready, the squirrels are returned to their natural habitat, free to lead squirrels’ lives.

Our capacity to handle kittens and baby squirrels is limited. Not too many people have the time available to hand feed the needy babes. Our staff resources are stretched thin year round, but never more than in spring and summer. We rely on our foster families to help with kittens (and adult cats and dogs) and baby squirrels when we’re full. If you have room to take a baby animal, you can help us get through this busy season. Please call extension 822 for more information on fostering companion animals or extension 818 for fostering squirrels. You’ll enjoy the satisfaction of helping rear a young one.

Because spring is also a season of renewal, we hope you will assist us with our membership survey on page 15. As we continually review our work to be sure we are serving the animals, we need to have feedback from you, our members. I thank you in advance for thinking about the future of PAWS and telling us what you think.

Kathy Kelly

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