Since joining APS in January as Volunteer, Foster and Placement Manager, Annika Hugosson has made kittens her top priority. She hit the ground running with plans for a kitten foster program, and hasn’t let off the gas.
Through her research and planning, support from donors, assistance from APS medical staff and cat technicians, and the dedication of kitten foster families, this years’ kitten foster program has proven to be the most successful in APS history.
Annika watched the evolution of similar programs with other shelters and approached APS Executive Director Shafonda Davis about past experiences, challenges, and successes.
“I put together a plan considering viability and successes of past programs here,” she said.
Annika decided to implement a pilot program with a goal of having five kitten foster families to use when the need arose.
“With only five foster families, we would have still been more successful than past programs,” she said. “But then the interest exploded and the program took off.”
Since the first kitten – a bottle feeder – went to foster mid-March, APS has sent more than 100 cats and kittens to foster care. That number includes six bottle feeders and 5-10 moms.
It’s gone “extremely well,” Annika said, but APS is approaching a new challenge – space is limited – almost non-existent – for the intake of additional cats and kittens. Those currently fostering are being asked to keep the cats/kittens in their homes until they are adopted, or until space becomes available.
“I am thrilled with the interest and participation from our community,” Shafonda said. “Our program would not exist without the support of our foster volunteers, and ultimately, the support from our generous donors who have helped make this program so successful.
“Annika and the medical assistants have worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the program, and it’s incredible to see everyone working together to save as many kittens as we can.
“The medical assistants, particularly Diana and Evan, are the voices behind the foster phone calls for help – they train the foster volunteers and provide support.”
Despite our successes, there’s still a lot of work to do. With kitten season in full swing, and not easing up until mid-September, APS needs fosters now more than ever.
“We’ve been able to save more lives with the help of our foster volunteers,” Annika said. “I am overwhelmed and thankful not only with the interest and passion the foster volunteers have shown, but also the donations that have come in to support the program.”
If you are interested in becoming a kitten foster, please fill out the kitten foster application online – http://www.apsofdurham.org/how-you-can-help/foster/. If you cannot foster kittens, but wish to contribute to the success of our program, please make a donation online – http://www.apsofdurham.org/donate-to-the-annual-fund/
For those wishing to adopt, we have 52 cats and kittens available at APS, with another 20 with foster families. With so many cats to choose from, consider adopting two at the same time! Adoption fees for cats are $95, and if you adopt two, the second is only $50.