A Paws For Pets — Precious little lives

By LaMoine Roth, York Adopt A Pet

Volunteers are crucial when you are involved in animal rescue. There are none more important than those who foster newborn kittens. For anyone who has dealt with tiny kittens, you know what I am writing about. No one knows this better than Ruth Pohl who has been fostering kittens for 3-plus years. She has fostered approximately 173 and averages about 50 a year. It is not always about fluffy little kittens that are healthy, as Ruth said there are those that no matter what you do, they can die from fading kitten syndrome. Technically, fading kitten syndrome is deadly. As the syndrome is defined as kittens that have passed away. Fading kittens become progressively more ill over mere hours or days. Kittens that are brought to York Adopt A Pet are generally from stray or feral mothers who have health problems from poor nutrition. This is carried over to the kittens. Many times the kittens are found without a mother and they face an uphill battle. But with those like Ruth, who are willing to give 24-hour care involving at times 2-hour bottle feedings, the number of kittens that are saved far outweigh those we lose from fading kitten syndrome.

Through the years many of our volunteers have fostered newborn kittens, including Deb Sanders, Mona Peterson, Charleen Kimberly, Diane Peterson, Judy Maneely, Sandy Yocum as well as myself. I apologize if I missed anyone. As most of us will agree, we love all of the kittens, but some manage to become very special. Ruth wrote this following  article in our York Adopt A Pet newsletter:

Cat’s Pride by Ruth Pohl

As I write this, I just lost my most recent foster, Mittens. This little tuxedo boy was born with the odds stacked against him. He was the runt of a litter, with a crooked tail and a bottom that didn’t work correctly. He used the litter box but also pooped all over his playpen, his fabric kennel. He came to stay with me for about two weeks. He was a little guy who loved to cuddle, but would experience pain during ordinary movement. He loved Churu treats, sitting on my shoulder and stretching out in his bed.

A lady who had him previously knew he needed a chance if he was to survive. Her child sent him with a little box containing three toys and a letter begging York Adopt A Pet to help him live. We hoped he might be able to get surgery to fix his problem. After spending time with him we knew he had a wonderful personality and handsome looks, but his little body was causing him so much pain. Even washing his back feet caused him to cry loudly.

Sometimes no matter how much we love and care the animals of YAAP, we know we are not able to fix every physical problem they may have. We made a vet appointment at York Animal Clinic and Dr. Tanner observed Mitten’s pain. We discussed what was best for this precious little life and we all agreed it was not for Mittens to continue to have so much discomfort. Animal rescuers often say “good-bye is the goal.” That means that we work to find them a good forever home. But once in a while, we know in our hearts we can best love an animal by ending their suffering.

YAAP will always do our best for the animals in our care. We give them extra attention and help them find loving homes. Once in a while, we love them enough to let them cross the Rainbow Bridge. Mittens now has his wings, is free of pain, and he knew love and kindness in his short time on earth. Fostering has many joys, but sometimes, we feel the pain so vulnerable animals can be free of pain.

While I feel a special bond with ill or fragile felines, do not let the potential of losing a foster deter you from becoming an animal foster. You will always feel grateful for the part you played in the life of these special creatures.

I couldn’t agree more. York Adopt A Pet is such an awesome shelter. Even though the building and the foster homes can be overflowing with kittens, how do you say no to these precious little lives? They are so tiny and without our help they have no future. Ruth gives them the chance of life and a forever home.  Thanks to all who have helped save these precious little lives.


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