Thanks to a generous donation from Ted & Willa Lutz, AWLA will be opening a kitten nursery! Called “Kitten Academy,” this nursery will be the first stand-alone neonatal kitten nursery in the metro DC area, and will enable us to save many little lives this summer and in the future. The nursery program is based on the Kitten Nursery Manual created by the National Kitten Coalition full of information from detailed interviews with staff and volunteers at five existing nurseries and from reviews of procedural manuals, budgets and administrative documents – combined with the expertise of The National Kitten Coalition on how to care for vulnerable kittens.
The Lutzs’ donations will provide cages, incubators, and other equipment necessary for the nursery. Neonatal kittens (kittens under three weeks of age) are particularly at risk of death or being humanely euthanized in shelters because they are too young to survive without a nursing mother cat, they are weeks away from being eligible for adoption, and they are more likely to contract and transmit disease from other shelter animals. Many shelters have difficulty finding the necessary resources, such as foster homes, to care for neonatal kittens, and the increased number of neonatal kittens that arrive at the shelter during “kitten season” only exacerbates the problem. AWLA’s “Kitten Academy” will give orphaned kittens a fighting chance by serving as a triage center and setting them up to thrive in foster homes.
As we get closer to the “first day of school” at Kitten Academy, we will still need the support of the community to make the nursery a reality. AWLA regularly hosts National Kitten Coalition kitten care workshops for those interested in fostering kittens once they are released from the nursery (see Events). Donations of supplies and critical funds can be made at the shelter. For a list of helpful items, view our Amazon Wishlist.