It's raining kittens in Kapiti

Caregivers needed

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 11:16 30/11/2012
Kapiti SPCA
Unwanted kitten: Kapiti SPCA volunteer Kimberley Jong with a kitten that needs a home.
SPCA kitten
So tiny: A newborn kitten being bottle-fed, something a select few of the SPCA's kitten fosterers are sometimes asked to do.

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A surge in unwanted kittens has prompted the SPCA to call for potential foster parents - and permanent families - to deal with the annual influx.

SPCA Waikanae Centre manager Peter McCallum said kitten season, usually running from October to May, started late this year - but was now in full swing.

"We can get anywhere between 400 to 450 kittens come in. These are unwanted litters, they're young kittens that people have found in suburban areas, and back sheds and semi-industrial areas . . . any number of stories."

The sheer number of kittens annually sees the Waikanae- based branch forced to send young kittens to foster homes.

Fostering costs nothing for the hosts, with all the food and materials supplied by the SPCA, Mr McCallum said.

The SPCA has had a "bit of a deluge" over the past few weeks with about 25 unwanted kittens handed in - most sent out to foster homes, he said.

"We're starting to get stretched resources now, so we're putting out a bit of a plea for members of the public that have a room available in their house and are a supporter of the SPCA to help out."

Mr McCallum said that as well as a call for foster families and permanent families the SPCA renewed its call for cat owners to have their animals desexed.

SPCA, Main Rd North, Waikanae. Call 04 293 4292.

SEASONAL MESSAGES

With summer here, Kapiti SPCA manager Peter McCallum asked dog owners to avoid leaving their animals in cars while they shop.

"The temperature in the car can get up to 40 degrees in 15 minutes on a warm day, and the heat stress on a dog can kill it very quickly."

He also called for people who find apparently deserted fledgling birds to leave the birds to their parents. "The parents are looking after them . . . just pick it up and put it up in a bushy tree and leave it there. The parents will come back if you've handled it. It's a myth that they don't." He said a fledgling's odds of survival are best when raised by its parents.

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