(St. Joseph,MO) Friends of the St. Joseph Animal Shelter is working to give newborn kittens a space of their own. The shelter boosters are raising money to build a Kitten Korner to help provide additional space to kittens and their mothers while in the shelter.
St. Joseph Animal Shelter Humane Educator Jennifer Lockwood said space is limited at the shelter and new arrivals can be difficult to place.
"During kitten season, we kind of struggle with space to put all the kittens that do come in,"Lockwood said“We get a lot of pregnant cats during the spring and the kennel sizes are not big enough for a mother and eight or nine kittens.”
The shelter currently has 21 kennels in the small animal room, each typically holding one or two cats; 14 cats in the indoor/outdoor catio and a few animals in the cage space in the back near the observation area.
"This will be a space where litters of kittens can have some quiet space to be socialized and this will also allow them to be housed with their mother,"Friends of the St. Joseph Animal Shelter President Whitney Zoghby said.
The remodel will cost approximately $2,500 to soundproof the space, purchase a floor to ceiling door and provide proper ventilation for the kittens.
"We don't want them to just be stuck in a kennel all day. We want them to have the opportunity to play that they would normally get when they're in a foster home, but we don't necessarily have enough fosters for all the kittens and moms that come down here,"Zoghby said.
Lockwood said the new space would make kittens more visible for adoption and could provide additional communal space for cats when there isn’t a litter of kittens in the shelter.
“That little room could house up to eight or nine cats which could really help to free some space. In the instance that we maybe don’t have a mother and kittens, we could certainly put smaller cats together in there and they could live together in there even if they aren’t necessarily litter mates,”Lockwood said.
Zoghby said Friends might need to do more fundraising for additional shelving units for the space, but was overwhelmed by the support the project has received so far.
“We had $800 raised the day we had it [put on] Facebook,” Zoghby said. “Hopefully we can keep up the momentum and continue to raise that amount of money every few days so that we can reach our goal as soon as possible.”
Since Monday Friends have raised $1,700 for the project and Zoghby said they are hoping to finish fundraising before the end of the year.
"The sooner we have it built, the sooner we can get kittens in there and save some more space and save some more lives,"Zoghby said.
For more information or to make a donation to the Kitten Korner project, check out the Friends of the St. Joseph Animal Shelter Facebook page.