The Free Press, Mankato, MN

April 23, 2013

Foster families needed to care for kittens, cats

By Robb Murray
Free Press Staff Writer

MANKATO — The miracle of life has sprung forth abundant at the Riverside Regional Pet Shelter, and now the shelter is in need of the kindness of volunteers.

Right now there are three newly birthed litters of kittens in cages at the shelter. Ordinarily, the shelter would whisk mom and kittens away to a nearby home where mom can raise those kittens.

But while the shelter may be flush with fresh kittens, it’s not exactly flush with foster families.

So the shelter is looking for a few good cat-loving families to welcome some tiny new friends to their home — temporarily.

People who come forward (and right now they’ve got three litters of cats who need foster homes) can expect a commitment of up to 10 weeks.

Katherine Nelson, a former board member and volunteer, said the shelter covers all costs for foster families, including food, litter boxes and any veterinary care they may need.

Typically, Nelson said, it’s easier to find foster families for cats because the animals are so independent. But at the moment, because of attrition, some of the families the shelter goes to for foster care are no longer available.

Because of this, the cats and kittens are being cared for by staff at the shelter.

“The staff is wonderful,” Nelson said. “But we only have so many staff hours, and there are other animals they need to care for.”

Foster homes are better for kittens anyway, Nelson said.

“In a foster setting, they can learn to become pets,” she said. “Then, when they go home, they already love people.”

Anyone interested can contact the shelter at 625-6373. Applicants will be screened after reading and signing a three-page contract.