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Pets

Durham shelter launches kitten foster program to save lives, find homes

Posted August 18

Give a homeless pet their forever home on Aug 19.

— WRAL will be teaming up with shelters across the area Saturday to find forever homes for homeless pets through the annual Clear the Shelters event.

Late summer, kittens are coming in by the masses.

Annika Hugosson is the foster and rescue placement manager at the Animal Protection Society of Durham. She started the shelter's first official kitten foster program.

"We're getting in kittens every day,” Hugosson said. “They might be orphans. They might be moms. It might be a stray mom who gives birth while she's here."

With kitten season in full-swing, some are too young or sick to eat on their own. So they need human help to survive.

Since the program launched five months ago, APS has sent more than 100 kittens into foster care.

"We got five, then we got 10 families, and then as we began to see the volume of kittens we were getting out, I said let's try for 50,” Hugosson said. “And then I said, 'OK, ultimate stretch goal, 100 kittens in foster care.' And we've done it."

The shelter provides foster families all the supplies. All they have to do is open their hearts and homes.

"The goal is 2 pounds. So once a kitten is 2 pounds, he or she can be spayed or neutered. And then be available for adoption," she said.

Hugoson said seeing the tangible results - healthy, happy kittens, is what makes all the hard work worth it.

“For us, a few weeks is not that much but in the life of a kitten, it's a lot," she said.

Hugosson said she also credits the shelter's vet, vet techs, the shelter staff and of course, the foster families for making the program a success.

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