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Kitten season causing strain on West Michigan animal shelters and rescues

During warmer months, shelters see an influx of litters of kittens.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Animal shelters and rescues are in crisis as adoptions go down and intake goes up.

This is only heightened by kitten season.

The Humane Society of West Michigan has about 400 animals in its care right now and about 300 of those are felines. During warmer months, shelters see an influx of litters of kittens.

Cats as young as six months old can have babies. To avoid unexpected surprises, animal advocates are urging people to spay or neuter their pets.

Since shelters are overwhelmed at this time, if you find a litter of kittens you may not need to rush to bring them to the shelter. 

"If you find a kitten out in the wild, is that kitten being well cared for by their parent? So, you'll notice their body condition if they have plump, pear-shaped, beautiful little bellies if they look fuzzy and clean if they're warm to the touch. That's a kitten that's healthy and cared for and mom was probably nearby," Brianna Shahly, Communications and Marketing Coordinator for the Humane Society of West Michigan said. 

"What we would recommend doing in that situation is keep an eye on that family by sort of taking a peek at the kittens when you can make sure that nobody's getting sick."

If there's no sign of mom and the babies appear thin and lethargic, those kittens need help right away.

Check with your local animal shelters and rescues right now because they could use help in the form of fosters and kitten food.


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