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I didn’t really give a lot of thought to where cats came from (not literally, but figuratively, meaning did they come from a shelter, breeder, etc) until I was an adult. A number of years ago my beloved Himalayan had died and I found myself missing having a furry feline. I knew I wanted another Himalayan. I’ve had a number of them and it is my favorite breed. I also knew I could not afford to go through a breeder. So I started looking at the cats available at different shelters. I was quite surprised to find hundreds, if not thousands, of cats and kittens needing a home so close to my house.
There were even some Himalayans, such as Pumpkin, the character you see above. I found him in a shelter in Philly, over an hour away.
It has always boggled my mind to think of so many animals needing a home. Shelters today are just as crowded. And, they’re about to get even more crowded. You see, March is the beginning of kitten season. Already crowded shelters will be even more crowded, overrun by kittens who need a home. This means that shelters need more of many things, especially more food, more volunteers and more education. Fortunately, there is an ongoing campaign to address these needs – the Hill’s® Science Diet® and Food, Shelter & Love™ Program.
To date the Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program has provided over $240 million worth of food to nearly 1,000 shelters, which translates to over 6 million pets. That is a lot of food! Sadly, food isn’t enough to take care of all of these animals. A lot more help is needed. Adoption is always the key goal. If you’re thinking about getting a cat or kitten I urge you to strongly consider visiting the shelter. If you aren’t currently looking to get a cat, visit the shelter anyway and volunteer a little of your time.
Volunteers are crucial. You can make a difference just by becoming a volunteer. Volunteers provide human contact that these animals desperately need. They learn about each and every animal there. Armed with that knowledge they are qualified to help visitors to the shelter learn about that animal and it’s background, and determine if the pet would be a good fit in the visitor’s home. Volunteers help educate people about the adoption process, and proper care after the adoption has taken place such as tips for bringing a new kitten home. They are also a great source of information on how you can help in other ways besides or in addition to adoption. Shelters can always use monetary donations, pet toys and supplies.
Were it not for volunteers we would have never known that Noah and Pumpkin weren’t just a pair of cats that had come in together. They were inseparable, and miserable when apart. They were father and son. They were extraordinary. I am so glad I adopted them and I miss them to this day. FYI, that is how the avatar shown above that many of you know me online by came to be.
I hope that all of the kittens waiting in shelters for a forever home get one. In the meantime it’s important that they get the proper nutrition and feeding from food such as Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Healthy Development food. By purchasing Hill’s you are helping them be able to continue to make a difference in the lives of shelter pets, and helping those pets be as healthy as possible for their new families.
How will you help your local animal shelter this kitten season?