It’s kitten season, and shelters need foster parents now, more than ever.

Forever Paws Animal Shelter in Fall River has been inundated with litters of kittens over the past few weeks and the shelter is running out of space.

While they are used to an uptick in kittens around springtime, this year has been overwhelming, and the director of Forever Paws hopes to find a solution to her growing list of foster animals.

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Arianna Silva has been the director of Forever Paws for the past three and a half years and has never seen such an influx of kittens before.

The shelter works directly with the cities of Fall River and New Bedford, so cats and kittens will be dropped off by officials. Owners from all over the SouthCoast will also surrender their animals, especially if their cat just had a litter.

“We currently have 45 animals in foster, only three of which are dogs,” said Silva. “The rest are cats and kittens.”

Silva and her team are typically ready for “kitten season” every year, where every Spring they receive a few litters and will continue to get them until fall.

“This year, (the shelter) has just blown up right away and they are continuing to come in every week,” said Silva.

It’s unclear why this year is different than others, but Silva believes that the lack of available vet appointments, the cost of spaying and neutering going up, and personal financial struggles all tie into pet owners surrendering their beloved pets.

“It affects the shelter because we only have so much space in-house,” said Silva. “The kittens cannot be adopted out until they are fixed and most hospitals will not take them until they are at least 2 pounds, which puts them on average at ten weeks or so. Most shelters do not have the actual space to hold animals for such a length of time.”

Being contracted with two major cities means Forever Paws is constantly inundated with animals, and that’s why the foster program is vital to the shelter.

“It gives kittens a safe, fun environment to socialize in and grow in while leaving space at the shelter for the animals coming in,” said Silva.

How You Can Help the Shelter

Get your cats spayed and neutered. According to Silva, a fertile cat can produce an average of three litters in one year, and the average number of kittens in a litter is four to six.

“Up to 4,948 kittens can be born from one unspayed female cat and her offspring in just seven years,” said Silva.

The Fall River and New Bedford Animal Control Departments both have programs (depending on funding) available to help with spay/neuter costs.

Become a foster parent to give these kittens a place to thrive until they are ready for adoption.

Tell your friends and family to adopt from shelters! Fun 107’s Wet Nose Wednesday is always a good place to start.

Share this with an animal lover in your life to help a local shelter that continues to give SouthCoast animals a better chance at life.

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