Last year the Best Friends Kitten Nursery partnered with South Salt Lake Animal Services, Murray City Animal Shelter, West Valley City Animal Services, West Jordan Animal Services and Salt Lake County Animal Services to provide safe haven for abandoned kittens or kittens with nursing mothers. Because of that safe haven, those tiny lives went from high volume shelter environments to a loving nursery where volunteers and staff looked after them until they made it into foster homes or were old enough to enter the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Sugar House.
The Best Friends Kitten Nursery saved more than 1,380 kittens last year alone — each one given a fresh start to a happy and healthy life. The nursery is an especially nurturing place for kittens who otherwise might not make it out of the shelter system alive. This includes kittens like Alfred and Leon, who tested positive for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Thanks to the nursery, Alfred and Leon received the TLC they needed to grow into loving companions, and graduated from the nursery last July before moving to a loving home.
The public to the rescue
Lawrence Nicolas, adoptions manager at Best Friends Animal Society–Utah, says the nursery has received tremendous support — from those providing kitten foster homes, to volunteers who keep the nursery buzzing around-the-clock, to the folks who ensure that the nursery is stocked with much needed supplies through in-kind donations.
"The nursery is funded solely through supporters of Best Friends,” says Lawrence. “The partner shelters do not have the resources to support underage kittens, who need a lot of medical care. Best Friends identifies at-risk animals in shelters and builds programs to support those animals. The kitten nursery is an excellent example of this work."
The wish list
The Best Friends Kitten Nursery, which will open for the kitten season March 15, last year utilized 1,374 cases of wet kitten food and 18,000 pounds of dry kitten food. But the nursery doesn’t run on food alone. Lydia LaSalle, senior manager for support services at Best Friends Animal Society–Utah, says there is a need for much more.
“We need bottles,” she says. “We go through them quickly because of our large intake. And because we do not use the same toys for multiple litters (because of contamination control), we need toys. Puppy pads are needed as well, because we go through several per litter per day.”
The kitten nursery also needs snuggle discs and floor steamers, along with other supplies such as baby wipes and feral dens. The varied list of much-needed supplies has been collated into an easy-to-use Amazon wish list, so people who want to help donate to save kittens can do so with just a click of a mouse.
“Last season the Best Friends Kitten Nursery was able to take in more than 1,300 kittens due to the generosity of our donors,” says Lawrence. “This year we would like to take in even more kittens, which will require even more supplies."
You can help kittens in need by providing supplies off the kitten nursery’s Amazon Wish List at http://bit.ly/KittenNurseryList