He was just weeks old when he came to the San Diego Humane Society’s Kitten Nursery. His story is not unique – it’s one that’s seen each and every day at the Kitten Nursery, but what does make this kitten unique is that he is the 10,000th arrival at the country’s first 24-hour Kitten Nursery.
His survival now depends on the caregivers at the Kitten Nursery. Bottle-fed and cared for around-the-clock by experienced kitten caregivers and medical staff, he is growing up strong, fluffy and playful, and will soon be ready for his public debut.
“Neonate kittens are the most vulnerable animal in shelters and I’m extremely proud that San Diego took the lead to establish a 24/7 nursery in 2009 to reduce the needless euthanasia of underage orphan kittens,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society. “Most shelters simply don’t have the resources to care for fragile kittens around-the-clock. We’re very grateful to our staff, volunteers and donors who enable our important lifesaving work.”
Very young, orphaned kittens need to be bottle fed every 3-4 hours and receive the same attention they would normally receive from their mothers. This comprehensive care is vital to both their physiological and behavioral development during this critical time period in their young lives. Once kittens reach about 4-5 weeks of age, they are typically moved to foster homes for socialization until they are old enough for adoption.
“Since ours opened as the first 24-hour kitten nursery in the country in 2009, more than a dozen organizations across America have followed our lead by opening other nurseries in their communities; including national agencies like the American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals and Best Friends,” said Morgan Hill, director of nursery and foster for San Diego Humane Society. “We’re so proud that this lifesaving model is being replicated to save even more animals.”
“I’m excited and amazed that we’ve reached such a milestone at the Kitten Nursery,” says Jackie Noble, Kitten Nursery supervisor. “We have so many incredible people working very hard to care for these tiny babies, but it’s a labor of love – we all love saving kitten lives.”
The 10,000th feline cared for by the San Diego Humane Society's Kitten Nursery was named Nova following a public contest that received about 400 entries, the organization announced.
“We selected Nova because we felt it accurately reflected his character,” said Jackie Noble, Kitten Nursery supervisor. “It's a clever and strong name that fits his personality now and will easily transition with him to adulthood, if his new family decides to keep
it,” Noble said. “He's a spunky little guy and will grow into a very handsome cat.”
Noble said some of the other names received in the contest – like Dr. Waffles, Pickle Chip, Kitten McKittyface – will be used for Nova's littermates.
Nova is currently in foster care until he’s old enough to be adopted. For more information, visit sdhumane.org.