Volunteer stepping up to help foster influx of neonatal kittens at Cedar Valley Humane Society

Staff at the Cedar Valley Humane Society say their foster program is essential to keeping the shelter from filling up.
Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 4:50 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Meet Peepers. The neonatal kitten is one of the newest additions into the Cedar Valley Humane Society. She’s about a week old.

“She came on her own. A UPS driver found her and brought her to a vet clinic, and they called us and here she is,” said Delaney Miller, Peeper’s foster mom.

Miller is also an Animal Care Tech at the shelter. When she’s not working at the shelter, she’s fostering at her own home and has been for the past two years.

“Fostering is super rewarding. It’s rewarding to be able to see them grow up and go from this little tiny baby to something like the rest of the cats in the building here,” Miller said.

Miller grew up on a farm and loves being around animals. Peepers is one of a handful of neonatal kittens recently into the shelter.

“Last week alone, we got nine bottle-fed kittens,” said Amanda Knefley, the shelter’s Director of Operations.

Knefley says it’s not unexpected as we are upon “kitten season”, when the weather warms up.

“It is unusual, but throughout the course of the season will probably get like 20 to 30,” Kneflley added.

Knefley says the need for foster parents is high, but finding fosters for their youngest animals is difficult because of the time commitment.

“They do have to feed every couple hours, especially within the first week or so of life. I just have to make sure it’s something where I can at least carry around a carrier with me where I am going. I do a lot of setting alarms, and making sure I feed on time, and getting weights,” said Miller.

Knefley says they rely heavily on fosters like Miller.

“We’re not here overnight to monitor all of our animals, so it is really nice to have somebody in a home environment,” she said.

Right now, they’re looking for five neonatal bottle-feeding fosters. They can apply to be one through their website.

In the meantime, Knefley says she’s thankful for volunteers like Miller, who have stepped up to help.

“She’s just super great with them,” Knefley said.

Peepers will stay with her foster mom for the next two months before she gets on the road to adoption. For Miller, she plans to continue to open her heart and home as much as she can to whichever animals need it.

“I really enjoy doing it. It does take a little bit of patience but it’s very rewarding,” Miller said.

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