Saving Kitten Lives Through Education
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New Resource Can Help You Save More Lives

Kitten Nursery Manual Available for Download

We’ve created a new resource for shelters and rescues! Launching and Operating a Successful Kitten Nursery is available for FREE download on our website. This manual provides information on how to set up a kitten nursery facility; how to staff it; protocols to use for intake, feeding, sanitation, and medical concerns; costs and fundraising options; and how to measure impacts.
“It’s very hard for rescue groups curious about what it takes to start and run a nursery to get current, complete, comprehensive information about how best to do it,” said NKC Executive Director Rebecca Jewell. “Because kitten nurseries can and do save thousands of kitten lives, we wanted to fill that void so that more organizations can make informed decisions about whether it makes sense for them to go forward with a nursery.”
We visited five leading kitten nurseries around the United States last fall, touring their facilities, seeing them in action, reviewing their policies and procedures, and meeting with staff and volunteers to discuss their challenges and successes. The nurseries were run by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (New York City), Austin Pets Alive! (Texas), Best Friends Los Angeles, the Jacksonville Humane Society (Florida), and the San Diego Humane Society. The resulting manual details in appendices how each of these nurseries has undertaken the project; it also offers advice on how to start a supporting kitten foster program.

The manual was made possible by financial gifts from the Ross/Roberts Kitten Care Fund through the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (Virginia), and from other individual donors to The National Kitten Coalition. Thanks to this support, the manual is available for free download on our website. Lots of great information for shelters and rescues looking for ways to save more kitten lives. Get your copy today!
Why a Kitten Nursery Manual?

A Firsthand Account from the Project's Manager

A lot of us are like this, I'm sure: we see a need and we want to meet it. In my case, as a shelter volunteer focusing on cats I could see that the Washington, DC area needed a way to reduce unnecessary kitten euthanasia. A basic problem was the lack of dedicated space and trained people to care for sick, but curable, kittens flooding into area shelters. I quickly learned that such space is called a "kitten nursery." Washington needed one, and I wanted to help get it started! 

A good business plan is a first step. It needs to suggest how big the nursery should be and what a nursery that size will cost. It needs to present details that will enable the organization to see what is involved and whether it can afford it and operate it successfully over time. 
Where to start? Google! I settled in for what I thought would be a weekend of research but, months later, all the publically-available information I could find was stubbornly stuck at the 25,000 foot level. I had no idea what the kitten nursery should look like, how much staff it would need, how it should operate, what it would cost, and how an organization that took it on could prove to its board that it was worth the effort. All I knew was that it was a great way to save thousands of kittens.  
Time to give up? No way, we're talking about saving kittens! Who is dedicated to the mission of saving kittens? The National Kitten Coalition! So my second task was ask if NKC would take this project on, and go with me to visit some of the kitten nurseries I'd found on the Internet to ask the people who run them the seven pages of questions I'd collected. I knew that I would need the NKC instructors' expertise to help evaluate the information such visits would certainly generate. They said "yes" immediately.  Education that saves kitten lives is right up The National Kitten Coalition's "alley." An amazing like-minded donor stepped up to help to fund the project, and off a team of us went, starting last September.
The final result is available for free. Yes, it answers my questions, and hopefully answers yours as well.
To download the kitten nursery manual, visit our website. Laura Baughman is Director of Operations for The National Kitten Coalition.
Kitten Mom's Corner

Holy Meow! I’ve found a teeny, tiny kitten!

Spring is here! We know this is a time of renewal – trees budding, flowers peeking through the earth, warmer temperatures… and kittens. As you enjoy the season, be on the lookout for kittens. If you happen to find a kitten, don’t immediately remove him from the situation unless in immediate danger. Wait to see if mama cat comes back.

Just because mom isn’t present doesn’t mean she has deserted her kittens; she may be hunting for food or your approach may have frightened her away. If the kittens are clean, healthy, quiet and in a safe situation, consider leaving them and watching to see if mom returns. Do not arbitrarily leave food by the kittens as this may attract predators. The amount of time observing is dependent on several factors including the kittens’ age, weather and safety considerations. For example if the kittens are less than a week old (eyes still closed) and the weather is or will be freezing, you may need to act more quickly. Consider all factors, then use educated, informed good judgement. Remember that a mom cat is always the best choice to raise them and, if your decision is to take them in, you need a plan to care for them long term.

For the extended version of this article, including the top three things to do if mama cat doesn’t come back, visit the Kitten Mom's Corner portion of our website.

Susan Spaulding is known as the 'Kitten Mom' in the shelter and rescue community. She has 25+ years' experience caring for kittens and is widely celebrated for her expertise with neonatal orphans and special-needs kittens who others have given up on. She is also a co-founder of the National Kitten Coalition. Visit our leadership page for more information on Susan and our leadership team.
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About the Coalition
Our team has decades of hands-on experience as shelter employees, rescue volunteers and kitten foster parents, and we bring this expertise with us when we educate and train others on up-to-date, proven information on how to save kitten lives – a labor of love we have committed to for more than 10 years.

We believe:
  • Neonatal, sick and other at-risk kittens should be given a chance to grow and thrive.
  • Our strong and well-researched educational programs save kitten lives and reduce euthanasia.
  • Those on the front lines at animal shelters, rescues organizations and in the veterinary community work tirelessly to save lives, and we stand with them in their efforts.
  • Together, we can save more lives!
Copyright © 2017 The National Kitten Coalition, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have supported us in the past; attended or participated in an educational program; expressed interest in participating in an educational program; are an animal-welfare organization or have opted in at our website.
Thank you for the work you do to save animals – especially kittens!

Our mailing address is:
The National Kitten Coalition
7371 Atlas Walk Way, #212
Gainesville, VA 20155

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