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Foster homes needed for ‘Kitten Season’ in Central Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. — “Kitten Season” is right around the corner, which means area animal shelters will again face the challenge of finding enough foster homes.

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Orange County Animal Services said this is the time of year when cats breed more often.

And that will lead to people finding litters of kittens and dropping them off at local shelters.

Not only can this create overcrowding, experts say the tiny animals aren’t yet suited for a mass shelter environment.

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“They’re too young to stay at the shelter if they’re under eight weeks old, as kittens need specialized care we cannot provide here,” Diane Summers, Division Manager at OCAS, said.

“We rely heavily on our foster parents and rescue groups to help us care for orphaned kittens when they arrive.”

In fact, OCAS urges people to wait before acting when they locate a litter of kittens. Experts said the mother is often nearby and still caring for them.

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They advised the public to monitor the situation for a day before getting involved, just to make sure the litter of kittens is actually orphaned.

Experts said young kittens always have the best chance with their mothers and can’t stay at the shelter without them.

OCAS’ “Wait Til 8″ program is designed to keep kittens under eight weeks old out of a shelter and cared for by fosters until they are ready for adoption.

Orange County provides free spay and neuter procedures once the kittens are old enough.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, you can take the online orientation here.

OCAS also offers hands-on training for foster parents and the shelter will provide supplies and medical care for the kittens.

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Officials said foster parents really just need to provide a nice, temporary home for the young animals.

For more information about fostering, kitten season, and what to do if you find a kittens, click here.

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