Dozens of SARA volunteers help foster very young kittens at home during kitten season on the island. Often these helpless animals have been separated from their mothers due to an accident or after being surrendered to the shelter.
Without intervention these kittens, who have not yet been weaned, might die. With so much important work finding homes for dogs and cats at the shelter, there just aren’t enough hours in the day – and this is why SARA desperately needs foster mums (and dads!).
Lanzarote resident and SARA volunteer Kat Leeman has been a foster mum for a couple of years now, and has helped save the lives of over 30 kittens. Kat describes what it’s like to help: “The majority are tiny babies that require bottle feeding every 2-3 hours. I have to set my alarm to get up for night feeds. I love being a foster mum, it is such a rewarding job watching these tiny helpless little babies grow into strong, healthy, playful little kittens, bounding around the house.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy, sometimes by the time these babies are found, it is too late to save them. That’s why it is so important to sterilise to avoid unwanted litters.”
SARA provides a highly effective trap-neuter-release program (TNR) to try and avoid unwanted litters. In 2021, SARA neutered 500 street cats (included in the total of 846 animals neutered at the shelter). Many other organisations across Lanzarote also help manage populations in this way.
Kat says: “One of the hardest parts of being a foster mum is parting with them when it’s time for them to go their forever home. I’ve had a few failed fosters, as I just get so attached to them.”
However, she knows that SARA does a wonderful job in finding the best homes for the kittens. “I’ve had to learn to let them go, knowing that I have given them the best possible start to life.” She also knows that the next kitten season is just around the corner.
SARA provides kitten milk formula and food. They will also provide any medical care and vaccinations through their in-house vet. Whilst some may not be able to resist giving a permanent home to a kitten they foster, the shelter will arrange adoption directly from the fosterer to a good home – or take the weaned kittens back to SARA for adoption.
Do you think you could help foster kittens for SARA? As Kat says, it is an incredibly rewarding thing to do to help save new lives. If you would like to find out more then contact SARA directly on (+34) 928 17 34 17 (English spoken) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to find out more about how to help SARA’s work – or if you would like to adopt a cat or dog – you can visit www.saraprotectora.org.
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