21 Aug 2014
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NKLA Seeks Kitten Fosters to Save Precious Lives in L.A.

Potential Fosters Can Go To www.NKLA.com/kittens for Information on How to Foster in Their Area


LOS ANGELES (July 22, 2013)– Kittens. They’re cute, they’re cuddly and they’re killed by the thousands every year. In 2012 alone, more than 6,000 of the 13,000 pets killed at Los Angeles city shelters were newborn kittens.

During this time of year, known as “Kitten Season,” shelters see a dramatic rise in kitten intake. There are simply not enough shelter employees and volunteers to care for these vulnerable kittens. Subsequently far too many are unfortunately killed.

Saving kittens through foster networks is currently an area of focus for No Kill Los Angeles (NKLA), a life-saving initiative of Best Friends Animal Society, and NKLA coalition member Found Animals.

Together, the two organizations are working to save these precious lives through an innovative neonatal nursery located at the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Mission Hills, the Found Animals Cat Adoption Center in Downey, Calif., and an extensive network of Los Angeles-based foster homes.

“Fostering kittens is an amazing experience, without the long term commitment of adoption,” said Aimee Gilbreath, executive director of Found Animals. “In addition to nurturing adorable kittens, fosters will feel good about helping save the lives of these wonderful animals.”

The foster period for weaned kittens typically lasts two to three weeks, as the kittens are returned at two months old to be showcased for adoption. All fosters need is a room, a bathroom will suffice, and the ability to feed and interact with the cats several times a day. Best Friends or Found Animals will provide necessary supplies and medical care.

Annie Anchulis of Northridge, Calif., took in a nursing mother with five kittens in 2012 and has since fostered 19 kittens for Best Friends Pet Adoption Center.

“I’m a single mother of two and work full-time, so volunteering at a shelter or rescue didn’t seem possible,” Anchulis said. “I was given everything I need to care for the cats and keep them safe and warm. What I didn’t expect was the pure joy this experience brought me. I enjoyed every moment of every day with all the cats.”

Many of the kittens that require foster care were once residents of the Best Friends’ neonatal nursery, often taken in when just days old. Staffed with a dedicated coordinator and supported by a cadre of devoted volunteers who sign up for two hour feeding shifts 24 hours a day, the neonatal nursery has a goal of saving 1,800 lives in 2013. To date, more than 1,000 kittens, including nursing kittens with mothers, have been saved.

“With the help of the NKLA coalition, working closely with Los Angeles Animal Services, we have made significant inroads into saving the lives of these helpless kittens,” says Marc Peralta, executive director of Best Friends Animal Society Los Angeles. “There just wasn’t a safety net in place for these cats or enough resources to provide round-the-clock care before.”

Volunteers are also being sought to bottle feed kittens at the Mission Hills and West L.A. Best Friends’ locations, as well as at Found Animals Cat Adoption Center in Downey, Calif. Fosters are needed across the entire Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. Other NKLA coalition members also supporting the foster initiative include: Much Love Animal Rescue, Kitten Rescue, Caring Friends Cat Rescue, Heaven on Earth Society for Animals, LA Animal Services, Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats, and Stray Cat Alliance.

For more information on how to become a foster or volunteer in your area, please see www.NKLA.com/kittens.

Best Friends Animal Society Adoption Center is located at 15321 Brand Boulevard, Mission Hills. For more information, visit www.bestfriends.org/la or call (818) 643-3989. For more information on Found Animals foster programs, visit http://www.foundanimals.org/kittenfoster or email kittenfoster@foundanimals.org.

About Best Friends Animal Society Los Angeles
Best Friends Animal Society Los Angelesis working collaboratively with animal rescue groups, city shelters and passionate individuals who are all dedicated to the mission of making Los Angeles a no-kill city. As part of this mission, Best Friends hosts adoption and fundraising events, runs the Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay Neuter Center in Mission Hills, and leads the NKLA initiative.

About NKLA
NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles) is a coalition of animal welfare organizations, city shelters and passionate individuals, led by Best Friends Animal Society. NKLA is dedicated to ending the killing of healthy and treatable pets in L.A. shelters by providing spay/neuter services where they are needed most so fewer animals go into shelters, and increasing adoptions through the combined efforts of the NKLA coalition so more animals come out of the shelters and go into new homes. In 2012, the coalition's first year of existence, L.A. shelter deaths decreased 12 months in a row, culminating in 4,200 fewer animals killed than in the year prior. Also in 2012, the NKLA Coalition facilitated 23,421 adoptions and 4,458 spay/neuter surgeries were performed.

About Found Animals

Found Animals is an independently funded nonprofit that works to achieve one goal – find the big ideas that help reduce the number of pets euthanized in shelters each year. Led by business and medical professionals, Found Animals works directly within the animal welfare community to reduce the use of euthanasia in shelters by supporting programs including: pet adoption, spay/neuter services, pet identification and sterilization research. Follow the progress online at www.foundanimals.org.


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