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SQSPCA launches ‘Feral to Friendly’ program

July 10, 2020 – With “kitten season” now well underway, the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) is reaching out to the community for help with taming feral and unsocialized kittens.

Kitten season is the time of year when animal shelters are overrun by kittens because birth rates are higher, typically March through October. Kittens of all ages – even newborns – are surrendered to the SQSPCA. Summer months are the busiest.

“The socialization period for cats occurs between 2 and 7 weeks of age, but can extend up to 14 weeks,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. “The majority of kittens brought to us have had very limited exposure to humans, so our animal care staff works with them as much as possible in between cleaning, intakes, dog and cat meets, and adoptions,” she said.

“We currently have 28 feral or unsocialized kittens on-site, with more arriving daily. Our new ‘Feral to Friendly’ program is designed to give volunteers the opportunity to meet and help socialize these kittens, and also to lighten the load for staff as the shelter enters its busiest season,” Haynes explained.

Early socialization, including gentle handling for 15-40 minutes a day, helps kittens learn to interact with people and increases their chances for successful adoption into a home. Kittens that are undomesticated and remain feral will likely become working cats in a barn, garage or workshop.

“Folks can volunteer for the Feral to Friendly program in two ways,” Haynes said. “They can call and sign up to come to the shelter to visit and play with kittens for an hour at a time, based on availability. People with experience handling feral cats and kittens can foster for us.”

Those interested in learning more about the SQSPCA’s Feral to Friendly program can call 607-547-8111, extension 102 to learn more and schedule a time to help out.

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In operation since 1917, the Susquehanna SPCA is a 501c3 charitable organization committed to caring for homeless, surrendered, and seized companion animals and finding them loving, forever homes. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org

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