Tis the season for caring for cats and dogs, and the Albuquerque Department of Animal Welfare is hosting a virtual puppy and kitten shower through April 30 to stock up on the most needed Provisions to accommodate nearly 2,000 kittens and 400 puppies that they expect to welcome during the warm months.
In previous years, “kitten season,” the time of year when the shelter receives the vast majority of incoming orphaned or abandoned kittens, has only extended into the summer months. But increasingly warm winters have greatly expanded the window during which these animals are active in breeding. Last year the shelter rescued 1,500 kittens between April and October, and they are expecting up to 2,000 this year from February to October, according to Nicole Vigil, senior veterinarian at the Department of Animal Welfare.
“Our shelter welcomes up to around 2,000 animals a year. It’s a sad but true reality that we face in our community, and part of it is about puppies and kittens, so we need our community’s help,” said Vigil.
Items needed to maintain the shelter during this time include things like formula, bedding, and heating pads to help keep animals of varying ages and medical conditions alive. Desirée Cawley, Marketing Manager for the Animal Welfare Department, said these items sell out incredibly quickly and having these items can be a matter of life and death for the kittens who arrive at the shelter as soon as they arrive. a few hours old.
The shelter also strongly encourages anyone with more time and space to participate in the foster program or volunteer at its East Side neonatal orphan unit, which opens May 2. Besides kittens, there are a variety of animals with medical cases or who are geriatric, both of which would benefit greatly from loving homes.
Vigil called fostering an orphaned kitten a great potential summer learning experience while stressing that fostering for just a few months could “literally save her life.” She said it also offers perspective for those who aren’t sure if they’re ready to commit to permanently adopting a pet.
“It’s amazing how they can blossom and be who they really are. Their personality blossoms just because of the opportunity to be in someone’s home and experience love. Some of them just don’t know love. You’d be surprised; we’ve had dogs that have walked here that have never been leashed, that have never been petted, that have never had the security of a home,” Cawley said.
Even after the puppy shower ended, Cawley said the welfare department has year-round service. wish list to which community members can donate. They also accept monetary donations through their non-profit affiliate Kennel Kompadres and are always accepting volunteers to help within the kennel and clinic.
Vigil mentioned other important services offered by the Welfare Service, including a separate service clinical which provides affordable neutering and neutering services for those who cannot afford to do so through a veterinarian.
“It’s actually a community effort. It’s not just the shelter’s responsibility; it is that of the community. So we all need to work together, try to fix this, but at the same time these pets are asking for our help, and we are the voice, and we need the public’s support, and we can help them thrive. and become wonderful pets. to someone’s family,” Cawley said.
Zara Roy is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter @zarazzledazzle