Rutherford County Pet Adoption & Welfare Services (PAWS) employees are heartbroken after finding a four-day-old kitten left alone, outside in a box this morning.
“As employees were beginning to arrive to start their tasks, they located a young kitten, eyes unopened, in a box outside the door, with no person in site,” says PAWS Director, Michael Gregory. “Camera footage shows the kitten was left within a matter of seconds and that there were no attempts to ring the bell or knock on the door for assistance. Thus, the kitten was alone outside for at least an hour before being discovered.”
Thanks to one of PAWS wonderful animal rescue partners, the kitten is currently being cared for by a foster care volunteer.
Removing “nursing age” kittens and other animals from their environment is not always the best and safest decision for the animal. Newborn animals’ body temperatures must be properly regulated, be bottle fed properly and depending on their age, monitored around the clock. PAWS is urging the community to please take these steps before touching or removing any young animal:
- Wait and watch. Please don’t panic. Especially, during “litter season” it is not uncommon for young animals to be alone or in an odd area, while their mother may be nearby getting food, or even hiding from you. No one can care for a young animal like their mom can! Leave the kittens (please do not touch them) and observe how they are doing every couple of hours from a distance. You can also use flour to create a circle around them. If the flour has not been disturbed, please contact PAWS ASAP for further instruction.
- Found the mom? If mom returns and the area is safe, allow the mom to continue to care and nurse her babies until they are weaned (typically around 6-8 weeks of age). Contact PAWS about a plan to obtain them when the litter is weaned, so they can be spayed or neutered, find a home, etc.
- No mom spotted? If no mom is spotted, again, after taking the appropriate steps, action should be taken. Consider fostering/caring for them until they are ready to be adopted or contact PAWS for further instruction. If before 24 hours of spotting the animal(s), a young animal or litter appears sick, dehydrated, etc., contact PAWS immediately.
Abandoning any animal, whether outside of a shelter or vet’s office, is unlawful and can be very unsafe for the animal. PAWS urges anyone with information about the person or vehicle in photos, or with any further information regarding this abandoned kitten, to contact PAWS immediately at 615-898-7740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. PAWS also has many tips and resources regarding newborn animals and found litters. To learn more, please contact PAWS or visit the Rutherford County PAWS Facebook page.