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Saving Kitten Lives Through Education
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You Helped a Virginia Shelter Save Kittens!
The Animal Welfare League or Arlington (AWLA) is dedicated to saving kitten lives. Typically, they care for about 500 kittens a year, but want to do more, and do it better! So after more than a year of National Kitten Coalition workshops to build its kitten foster program and financial support for the National Kitten Coalition’s manual, Launching and Operating a Successful Kitten Nursery, AWLA will open the doors to a new neonatal kitten nursery at its shelter at the end of this month!
 
As we note in our nursery manual, the first step in launching a successful kitten nursery is to have in place a strong kitten foster program. That requires increasing the numbers of kitten fosters you have and training them to know how to care for the kittens. Since the beginning of 2016, National Kitten Coalition instructors have been presenting classes to current and potential kitten fosters at the AWLA shelter nearly every month covering the full range of topics of interest: bottle feeding neonatal kittens, caring for kittens with diarrhea, socializing kittens and more. AWLA saw its foster homes increase by an average of 10 new fosters per NKC workshop. The organization currently has 100 foster families!
 
The next need is dedicated space at the shelter for intake of neonatal kittens (where AWLA wanted to focus at the start) until they can be moved into foster homes. Using our nursery manual and NKC consultant Marnie Russ (pictured), AWLA sketched up space usage plans.
 
It took only eight weeks and now the nursery is ready for its first kittens!
 
But wait, the title of this article says, 'You Helped'… Here’s how: your financial support to The National Kitten Coalition allowed us to create our nursery manual and to provide additional workshops to AWLA and the community in order to launch their nursery and save more kittens. So once again, thank you!
And Speaking of Kitten Nurseries...
Are you interested in starting a kitten nursery? Here’s a quick To Do list:

Step 1: Build your rescue group’s kitten foster program by signing up for NKC workshops or webinars;

Step 2: Read our free kitten nursery manual;

Step 3: Contact us for help if you have questions or need hands-on help! We’re happy to visit and give you our suggestions for how to set up your space or refine your operations to be successful.
Kitten Mom's Corner:
A Tip for Stopping Diarrhea – Before It Hits*
Here’s an idea for stopping diarrhea in neonatal kittens before it hits: give neonates who have no mother a single dose of penicillin G (“pen G”) injection upon intake. According to Dr. Ellen Jefferson, DVM and Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive!, this can pre-empt bacterial imbalance as kittens switch from mother’s milk to formula. “A baby can die quickly from diarrhea, and providing this at intake prevents many from ever developing it,” says Dr. Jefferson (referenced from A Protocoled Response to Diarrhea).
 
I started using this protocol several years ago after talking to Ellen at a conference where we were both speaking. I am only coming from personal experience, but I would not give it up for the world. I fostered 231 kittens last year, and I can count on one hand the number of cases of diarrhea I had. Before that, I just expected I would have stool issues in almost all my kittens. The few cases I did have were diagnosed for particular reasons, i.e., severe coccidia, disease, etc. Just anecdotal, but I also have had less URI develop after coming into foster. Pen G is definitely in my repertoire, and I highly recommend you discuss it with your vet as part of your intake protocol.
 
 'Kitten Mom' Susan Spaulding has 25+ years' experience caring for kittens and is widely celebrated by others in the animal rescue world for her expertise with neonatal orphans and special-needs kittens who others have given up on. She is a co-founder of the National Kitten Coalition. For more information on Susan and our leadership team, visit kittencoalition.org/about-us/leadership.

* This is not intended to replace veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian regarding all treatment plans and use of any medications.
Download the Pen G Fast Facts Sheet!
A Foster's Story: Information Empowers!
"My first kitten foster experiences were fraught with stress and anxiety because I didn’t have any training and didn’t know where to get it. My fellow fosters in the rescue weren’t able to help me in the middle of the night, when emergencies happen. Information on the Internet went only so far. Then I went to a National Kitten Coalition (NKC) bottle baby workshop – what a game changer this was! I have since taken all their classes, some more than once so that I could stay current on all the new products and new protocols that are always coming on-stream. I have always learned so very much from each workshop. 

“Last March, I attended the all day kitten care workshop that included much information on caring for mothers-to-be and new mother cats. In April, I had the confidence to take on four 17-hours-old kittens and their first time mom! I know Senorita and her bambinos looked to me to know what to do to make her and her babies safe and healthy. I consulted my NKC workbook almost daily!

“Just knowing that NKC experts are there and teach information that has been vetted by professionals in the field of shelter medicine has made me a much better foster and willing to take on additional responsibility: taking in kittens rescued by animal control during the hours when the shelter is closed and care for them until the following morning when it opens. It is a great program and already I have been able to provide care for several litters until the next morning when they are examined and long-term fosters are found for them. I would never have the confidence to do this without the National Kitten Coalition! Your organization is priceless!”
- Pat A., Millersville, MD

Do you have a kitten-care success story that resulted from information you received from The National Kitten Coalition? We want to hear from you! Email us at info@kittencoalition.org with your story and photos!
It's Kitten Season! Your support helps save lives!
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Pass it On & Share the Kitten Love
Don't forget to follow and share The National Kitten Coalition Facebook page with family, friends and colleagues. We post lots of great kitten-care tips, fun stuff and information on upcoming events. We know that sharing information is a powerful tool for change and connects people. We invite you to join the conversation!

And, we encourage you to forward this newsletter to anyone you think may be interested in learning more about kitten care and The National Kitten Coalition.
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About The National Kitten Coalition
 
Our team has decades of hands-on experience as shelter employees, rescue volunteers, kitten foster parents and veterinary professionals, 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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