TAVARES — There’s hunting season, the holiday season, the summer vacation season …. So why not add one more.
How about Kitten Season?
Lake County just announced that its own Kitten Season would begin on Saturday, April 8, when the Lake County Animal Shelter will make a major push to find homes for the kittens they’re caring for.
As a result, the Animal Shelter is promising to bring along “dozens of fantastic felines” available for adoption during a Kitten Baby Shower on April 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the shelter’s office at 28123 County Road 561 in Tavares.
“Cats of all types and ages will be free to adopt during the event,” the county agency noted in a news release.
The Kitten Baby Shower is being sponsored by L.E.A.S.H., Inc., a non-profit group of volunteers, based in Astatula, who love shelter pets and are working to make a difference in their lives.
Brian Sheahan, Lake County’s community safety & compliance director, noted that every spring, shelters all across the country get inundated with adorable newborn kittens, and based on the sheer volume alone, it becomes more important than ever to find homes for them.
“When kittens arrive at the shelter under eight weeks old and weighing less than two pounds, they are unable to be adopted at this time,” Sheahan said. “However, many are eligible to go to temporary foster homes where they are easy to care for and can be housed in a spare room, laundry room or even a bathroom, before they are returned to the shelter to find their forever homes.”
Members of L.E.A.S.H. even plan to educate the public interested in becoming a kitten foster home on how best to care for such a tiny member of the family. To help area residents learn to foster kittens, L.E.A.S.H. will present a workshop called “FOSTEROLOGY 101” from 2-4 p.m. during the Kitten Baby Shower. It will teach some basic skills, including socializing feral kittens, bottle feeding and more.
“There are many ways in which the public can help,” said Suzi Springsteen-Marks, manager of the Lake County Animal Shelter. “The biggest need is people willing to foster kittens in their homes. Litters that come in with a mom take the least intervention and are generally a good way for a first time foster to start. Training and supplies will be will be provided.”
So if you hope to be smitten by a kitten, head over to this event, which will be organized like a party. The public is invited to join a celebration that will include refreshments, treats, prizes and goodie bags.
Attendees are being asked to bring a gift for shelter animals, including IAMS wet and dry kitten food, kitten and puppy powder milk formula, scoop-able litter and litter boxes, kitten baby bottles, baby blankets and crib sheets, turkey or chicken baby food, heating pads, pet toys and cat carriers.
To find out more about the Lake County Animal Shelter, or to adopt or volunteer, visit their website, stop by the shelter, or call 352-343-9688.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Koby’s New Home”. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.