When a litter of kittens is found, keep in mind that it is possible that the mother has not abandoned them. If the kittens are fairly clean and in a safe area, leave them be and watch to see if their mother returns. If, however, the kittens are crying loudly and their mother does not return in several hours, or if they are in danger of traffic or predators, then they can be brought into the Fort Leavenworth Stray Facility. When a litter of nursing kittens needs to be turned into the facility, it is best to bring in the mother cat, too, if possible. Call 913-684-4939 for more information. File photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Editor:

As “kitten season” begins, I’d like to give the Fort Leavenworth community some information about policies regarding the Fort Leavenworth Stray Facility.


The Fort Leavenworth Stray Facility accepts strays with a few requirements. We are a small facility and can only take animals found on post. Relinquishments because of permanent-change-of-station moves or other reasons follow the same rule: only people living on post can relinquish to us.


Occasionally, we have Good Samaritans who find a dog or cat and bring it to us. Usually they are lost pets that we reunite with owners, but we also receive friendly strays or pets that have been abandoned.


Truly feral cats should not be trapped and brought to us. If a cat is totally unsocialized, there is virtually no chance of it being turned into a family pet. We will have a difficult, if not impossible, time getting its cage cleaned and doing basic care, along with a chance of it carrying disease. Short story is, we cannot care for or adopt out an animal that is vicious.


As for kittens, it is tricky. While tempting, if you find a litter of kittens and think of bringing them to us, keep in mind that they may not be abandoned. Their mother may be out getting a meal. If the kittens are fairly clean and in a safe area, watch to see if Mom returns. If they are crying loudly, and the mom does not return in several hours, or they are in danger, then yes, they can be taken in.


Last year we had an adorable litter with their mother, all friendly, but had been cruelly dumped when their owners moved. After a Good Samaritan brought them to us, they were vetted and now have homes.


The best way to prevent “kitten season” is to have your cat spayed or neutered and follow post policy by not letting them roam outside. Besides the dangers of traffic, coyotes, etc., cats can get pregnant as young as four months old. I have even seen nursing mothers get pregnant.


Again, we take relinquished pets from people living on post. There is no reason to move and abandon your cat or dog. We will have regular, open hours again soon, and for now you can call us at 913-684-4939 and leave a voicemail with information or e-mail fortleavenworthstrayfacility@gmail.com.

Heidi Crabtree
Fort Leavenworth Stray Facility caretaker

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