It’s kit­ten sea­son: Can you help?

The Catoosa County News - - COMMENTARY -

Kit­ten sea­son is in full swing. What that means for North Ge­or­gia An­i­mal Al­liance is an in­flux of home­less mother cats with their ba­bies.

“We get over­whelmed this time of year,” says NGAA Pres­i­dent Jil­lian Alexander-Hol­lis. “The ma­mas and kit­tens just keep pour­ing in.”

When a cat or kit­ten comes to NGAA, vol­un­teers as­sign it to a fos­ter home. Over the course of its stay, it’s pre­pared for adop­tion – it sees a vet, is spayed or neutered, given a ra­bies shot and treated for fleas and worms as needed.

“A lot of times,” says Alexander-Hol­lis, “cats are starv­ing or un­der­fed, so we make sure they eat well and grow healthy. Our fosters spend time so­cial­iz­ing kit­tens and get­ting them used to peo­ple.”

Once a cat or kit­ten is ready to be adopted, it usu­ally goes to Pet­sense in Fort Oglethorpe, which part­ners with NGAA to find homes for the lit­tle fe­lines. Peo­ple in­ter­ested in adopt­ing can go to Pet­sense to see cats that are avail­able and can pick up an adop­tion ap­pli­ca­tion while they’re there.

“We’re par­tic­u­lar about the homes our cats go to,” says Alexan­derHol­lis. “The pur­pose of all the ques­tions on the ap­pli­ca­tion is to make sure peo­ple un­der­stand the se­ri­ous­ness of pet own­er­ship and to make sure they’re a good match for a pet.”

NGAA works with shel­ters in area coun­ties and with other res­cue groups in the East­ern U.S. They help dogs as well as cats, though Alexander-Hol­lis says their main work at this time is with cats. “As more peo­ple vol­un­teer, we’ll be able to ex­pand the work we do with all an­i­mals,” she says.

“We’re sup­ported by the com­mu­nity and oc­ca­sional grants we get from groups that sup­port an­i­mal res­cue,” says Alexander-Hol­lis. “There are won­der­ful peo­ple in Ca­toosa and Walker coun­ties and Chattanooga and other nearby ar­eas who faith­fully help us with money, lit­ter, pet food and other sup­plies. There are vets who give us dis­counts and we buy worm and other medicines on­line where we can find bulk prices. Our vet bills run in the thou­sands every month.

“We’re for­tu­nate to have some peo­ple in our area who re­ally care about home­less an­i­mals,” Alexander- Hol­lis says. “But the need never stops. We need to spread the word about the im­por­tance of spay­ing and neu­ter­ing and pre­vent­ing the prob­lem in the first place. We help peo­ple with spay-neuter costs if they qual­ify. We make weekly runs to a spay clinic with great prices. We’re here to help solve the prob­lem of pet home­less­ness in any way we can.

“Our fa­vorite part of this work,” Alexan­derHol­lis says, “is when peo­ple who have adopted an­i­mals send pic­tures and tell sto­ries about their pets in their new homes. You can see many of the sto­ries on our web site. Peo­ple talk how much they love their new cat or dog and how adopt­ing has changed their lives. That makes all the work worth it.”

To learn about cats or dogs avail­able for adop­tion or to help or vol­un­teer with NGAA, visit north­ge­or­giaan­i­malal­liance.org or call 706-937-2287. North Ge­or­gia An­i­mal Al­liance is an all-vol­un­teer 501(c)(3) an­i­mal res­cue or­ga­ni­za­tion that has been work­ing in the north Ge­or­gia area for over 20 years.

Cats and dogs are avail­able for adop­tion through North Ge­or­gia An­i­mal Al­liance. Learn more at north­ge­or­giaan­i­malal­liance.com.

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