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Kitten season hits local animal shelters. Here are ways to help

Springtime means a boom in baby animals -- especially kittens -- and local shelters are seeing that spike right now, which puts a demand on their resources. Shelters often see an influx of kittens in the spring because people come across litters outside and bring them in for help.

Robin Coleman is the adoption program manager at Woods Humane Society in San Luis Obispo. She said they are always prepared to receive new animals but they ramp up supplies and services during the spring.

She said sometimes people get worried when they see kittens outside, and tend to bring them to the shelter prematurely.

“It is pretty tricky when you do come across what you think might be abandoned kittens,” Coleman said. “We do find a lot of the time, mom is nearby. Mom is there. Mom is out getting food. She might be hiding because there are people around.”

Coleman said if someone encounters a litter of kittens, they should wait to see if their mother returns before intervening.

If the kittens are clean and look well fed, Coleman said they are likely being taken care of and don’t need immediate help. If they look skinny or dirty, the kittens may need care and can be taken to a shelter.

Coleman said there are a number of ways people can help support shelters during kitten season, including spaying and neutering their pets, adopting shelter animals, volunteering and donating supplies or money.

She said signing up to foster kittens is another great way to support local shelters.

Annette Sheely has been fostering kittens for years at Central Coast shelters. She said it’s incredibly rewarding work, especially to do as a family.

“I feel like it’s been so much fun to have them, but I feel like we have benefitted just as much as we have given,” Sheely said. “It’s been a really beautiful sweet opportunity for my family to experience the pleasures of fostering.”

Sheely said she encourages anyone to give fostering a try, if they are interested. She said it is possible to do even with a full time job.

Coleman said people who are interested in volunteering, fostering or adopting a pet can visit the Woods Humane Society website to learn more about how to get started.

Animal shelters throughout the Central Coast can use help. To find shelters in Monterey County click here. To find shelters in San Luis Obispo County click here. To find shelters in Santa Barbara County click here.

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. After graduating, she took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team in October 2020, reporting daily for KCBX News until she moved to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2022. Rachel spends her off-days climbing rocks, cooking artichokes and fighting crosswords with friends.
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