COVID-19 IS HERE...AND SO IS KITTEN SEASON
(March 18, 2020 - Asheville, NC) With COVID-19 and Kitten Season arriving at the same time, some local animal rescues are facing a unique challenge: their work is amping up just as critical resources are disappearing.
“We saw a dramatic decline in donations once the virus hit the United States,” says Andee Bingham, Executive Director of Esther Neonatal Kitten Alliance. “But at the same time, we’re getting calls from organizations throughout the region who desperately need our help. It won’t be long before we and other animal rescues will be forced to make tough decisions.”
Esther Neonatal Kitten Alliance rescues some of the most vulnerable animals in our community: orphaned newborn kittens. They also provide resources and training to more than a dozen animal rescues and municipal shelters throughout western North Carolina. “Many of the communities we serve are very rural and under-resourced,” Bingham says, “and orphaned newborn kittens require very specific and frequent care. If we aren’t able to help, some of the shelters may be forced to euthanize simply because they don’t have the tools to care for them.”
Sister Kitten Animal Rescue has seen a drop in donations too, which may soon affect its Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. TNR programs not only create healthier and safer situations for both cats and humans, but they also drastically reduce the number of kittens being born into the community who need help from organizations like Esther Neonatal Kitten Alliance.
“The work we do out in the community every day directly helps the other organizations in the region,” says Eric Phelps, Executive Director of Sister Kitten. “We all work together to help the animals who need us, and a lack of resources can cause a domino effect that, frankly, the animals in our community can’t afford.”
Bingham and Phelps urge the Asheville community to support the local animal rescue organizations in whatever way they’re able over the next few months. “These are organizations that are out there every day making sure homeless animals get the care they need,” says Bingham. “Whether you can donate money, sign up to foster an animal, share a social media post, or just give some encouraging words to the folks behind them -- it matters!”
Esther Neonatal Kitten Alliance provides care and rescue to orphaned newborn kittens through loving foster homes, strategic partnerships, and community education. Learn more at www.kittenalliance.org
Sister Kitten Animal Rescue improves the lives and perceptions of animals by supporting community cats and “outdoor” dogs in Western North Carolina and provides rapid response animal rescue services in weather-related emergencies throughout the southeast. Learn more at www.sisterkitten.org