PussN Boots Kitty Rescue is calling on the community for help this kitten season.
Last year they took in nearly 200 cats and kittens.
This year is looking like it’ll be one of their busiest seasons yet.
The registered charity, founded in 2020 by Salena Hodgson, was formed after Salena heard that a litter of two week old kittens had been dumped.
She put up a social media post asking people who needed support with their cats to reach out rather than abandoning them.
‘‘Within an hour I had people showing up on my doorstep.’’
She said the population of unwanted cats and kittens was bigger than she ever expected, ‘‘It’s getting out of hand … last kitten season I had 92 in my own home.’’
Salena said she is in desperate need of foster families prepared to foster the kittens that will be born, rescued, or surrendered in the coming weeks.
‘‘We supply everything…food, bedding, veterinary treatment.’’
Foster families are crucial to the developmental, social, and habitual needs of cats and kittens, providing opportunity for inter-species socialisation and good handling tolerance, as well as familiarising them with household environments and routines.
It also takes the stress off the volunteers at PussN Boots who, during kitten season, are often busy hand-rearing kittens which requires feeding, cleaning and toileting as often as every two hours, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
‘‘It’s a fulltime job,’’ Salena said.
Volunteer and fosterer, Dannielle Doyle-Geddis, said PussN Boots ensures every cat and kitten gets veterinary care throughout theirfoster care and before being rehomed, ‘‘We desex them, flea them, worm them, microchip and get their first vaccination.’’
They also invest in veterinary-recommended nutrition for all their queens (mother cats) and kittens to give them the best start to life.
‘‘We probably separate ourselves a little bit from the rescues,’’ Salena said. ‘‘We don’t hurry them back out the door, each kitten or cat takes its own time so we judge it on individual animals as to how long it takes (before they go to new homes).’’
The PussN Boots charity, based in Mid Canterbury, operates from Oamaru to Ashburton and includes inland towns such as Methven, Waimate, and Geraldine.
Because of the large area they cover, Puss n Boots are also looking for sponsorship from Mid and South Canterbury businesses, as well as small but regular donations from individuals.
‘‘What we really need is sponsors in each town,’’ Salena said. ‘‘What we really need is the public’s support … we need (donations) to come in regularly.’’
Salena is going to host a food and donor drive to help with the kitten season which runs from October to December each year. Details will be released on their Facebook page.
It will be a great opportunity for the public to contribute everything from food to blankets and towels, toys, food bowls, and cat carriers.
Monetary donations go towards veterinary bills and cover desexing, microchipping, flea and worming, and feeding.
Salena said desexing is one of the biggest issues they need to tackle in order to control cat populations and the amount of unwanted litters.
All cats or kittens available for adoption are desexed, microchipped and vaccinated.
Adoption fees help to recuperate veterinary costs.
Salena and the PussN Boots team would like to take the opportunity to remind people that cats and kittens are not Christmas presents – they are 15 year commitments.
She said unfortunately in January there will be an increase in abandoned cats and kittens as people decide they no longer want the responsibility of pet ownership.
‘‘We need to get this desexing under control,’’ Salena said. ‘‘But we can’t do it without the community’s support.’’
Foster home expressions of interest are always welcome.
To donate to PussN Boots Kitty Rescue:
PUSSN BOOTS Kitty Rescue
Just $5 a week will make a big difference.
-By Indi Roberts