Well, we’ve reached that time of year again. We are smack dab in the middle of kitten season. This is when we get overrun by felines.

Cats are out there partying these long days away, and they inevitably create tons of kittens.

We have almost 200 cats in need of homes at the moment. Now, that number will fluctuate on a daily basis because of adoptions – and boy do I wish I could manufacture those right now – but as of this writing, we’re nearing 200.

That number includes cats at PetSmart and Petco, as well as the ones in foster care.

For those of you who have an affinity for animals and really want to help, now’s the time.

Obviously, the best way to help us is with the aforementioned adoptions. If you’re looking to bring a four-legged friend into your home, please stop out and take a look at the babies in our kennels. We have some of the sweetest cats and kittens.

Don’t forget the adult cats. Believe me, I know the kittens are irresistible, but often the adult cats are overlooked for their smaller, younger counterparts and that just about breaks my heart.

I know some of you reading this won’t be able to adopt – believe me, I realize how tough it is to look at these four-legged babies and know that you’re not in the right place to take one of them home. But there are still ways you can help.

Talk about them. Help us get the word out. Let people know that now’s the time to adopt. Share our photos on Facebook and Petfinder.

Spay and neuter any stray cats you are feeding. I understand what happens when a stray cat comes around. You want to help and you put a bowl of food out and that’s awesome, but what you really need to do is make sure that cat is spayed or neutered. If you’re taking the time to feed them, take the time to make sure they’re not going to have other babies. There are plenty of low-cost spaying and neutering groups around. Give the shelter a call and we can put you in touch with them.

I’ve heard other towns have passed ordinances for people to have their animals spayed and neutered, and they’re finding a definite decrease in animal population at shelters. The bottom line is that if it works in other states, it would have to work here. Make sure you’re part of the solution. Have your pets spayed and neutered.

Also, we are in rather desperate need of supplies. We will need kitten food from now until probably November or December. I’m always shocked how late the kittens continue to come into the shelter – sometimes even around Christmas!

It depends a lot on the weather. If we have a warm end of the year, then we will likely see kittens for a while. As long as the adults can still be out having fun, we’ll still see kittens.

So if you would be able to drop off some bags of kitten food, that would help a lot.

We have a lot of tiny kittens – some that still need to be bottle fed. We have folks – mostly our executive director – who set alarms to feed these babies every two to three hours. She doesn’t sleep more than a few hours at a time while she’s bottle feeding. It’s pretty crazy, but she’s truly dedicated to the kittens she cares for.

We use a product called Kitten Milk Replacer to feed these little babies. You can find it in the pet food section of grocery stores and certainly PetSmart and Petco would have it, as well. It comes in cans or bottles. If you could pick up some cans of the Kitten Milk Replacer, that would help us tremendously.

It really is a tough time of year for us at CVAS. We’re all feeling it. By the end of the day, the staff here is basically wiped. It takes an inordinate amount of time and energy to care for the animals every day.

So try to help in any way you can. Come adopt. Donate supplies or money. Spread the word to friends and family looking for a pet.

It’s this community that has kept this shelter going for 30 years, and with your continued help and support, we’ll keep going. Even through the tough times.


Jennifer Vanderau is the Director of Communications for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter, and can be reached at: cvascomm@cvas-pets.org. The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at: (717) 263-5791, or visit the website: www.cvas-pets.org. CVAS also operates a thrift store in Chambersburg. Help support the animals at the shelter by donating to or shopping at the store.


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