We are so excited to announce we received a $25,000 grant from the Orphan Kitten Club! This money will be used to create a neonatal kitten care program right here at RVHS. Neonatal kittens are one of the most at-risk groups in animal shelters. Many shelters simply do not have the resources to care for them as they require specialized care and constant feedings (like all babies do!). Thanks to this grant, the kittens in our community will have the support they need to thrive.
Since receiving the grant, we have been hard at work creating a dedicated space to house neonatal kittens away from our general cat population. We have repurposed the upstairs rooms of our on-site surgical suite and done needed improvements such as painting, installing a heater to warm up the nursery room, and acquired tables for our incubators to sit on. And of course, we have purchased incubators–the most important thing for a nursery! Kittens are unable to regulate their own temperature and they rely on mom to keep them warm. When kittens don’t have a mom around, it makes it a lot harder to keep them at a comfy and safe temperature for their little bodies.
Incubators keep kittens at the ideal temperature and humidity based on their specific life stage. We’ve never had these before to take care of neonatal kittens and we are thrilled to have a piece of equipment that functions for this purpose.
While our nursery has taken some time to open, that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been saving the lives of kittens in our community. Here are just a couple of examples of kittens we have helped, which we wouldn’t have been able to do without this grant giving us the ability to dedicate more specialized staff time to emergent situations such as these:
In early June, a concerned community member came to our front doors to ask for help. He had found a litter of kittens that looked to be a month old at his job site. Unfortunately, the mother had been killed in the roadway nearby the day prior and the finder had no way to care for them. It had been a hot day and we knew they must be hungry. When we first looked at them, all four kittens were sluggish and dehydrated, and one kitten had such an irritated eye that it was glued shut. We went to work providing them with food, needed medications, and subcutaneous fluids so that they could be on the path to wellness. Our quick intervention made a huge difference and within 24 hours, our Scooby Doo Crew were playing and acting like normal kittens! We could not have saved these babies if it were not for the funding we’ve received from the Orphan Kitten Club! We have been able to dedicate more staff and vet tech time to attend to emergency surrenders such as these and ensure that we are providing the highest quality of care that we can to these kittens that need our help.
Here’s another sad story with a happy ending! Ash and her two other siblings came to us in early August from an area that had many cats. Her colony caretakers wanted to give them all a shot at a better life, and we welcomed them to RVHS! Soon after arriving, Ash was starting to decline, presenting with vomit and diarrhea and a total lack of interest in food. Luckily, our staff jumped in immediately to start her on her path to wellness. Without the ability to have a dedicated vet tech on staff to care for critical cases like hers, Ash would have been much worse off. She has been a trooper for enduring IV fluids, syringe feeding, and taking medications to treat her symptoms. After a few days of intensive care, she is now finally getting her appetite back and gaining weight! She is now playing and acting like nothing had ever happened, and we love seeing her so full of life! We are so grateful to the Orphan Kitten Club for providing us with the funding to save the lives of kittens like Ash who need an extra helping hand before they find their forever homes!
We are looking forward to saving many tiny lives thanks to this generous #mightycat grant. Thank you to all who support our cause and who continually push us to be bigger and better every year. We can’t wait to share our new journey with you all! If you want to check out all the cool work that the Orphan Kitten Club does for kittens across the USA, visit their page to find out more! https://orphankittenclub.org/about/