Fostering Hope: A Look Back at Kitten Care in 2020
by Danielle Cookish
Reflecting back on 2020, we’re reminded of both challenges and triumphs in the care of animals and service to our communities. Dakin suffered a suspension of most operations at the initial height of the pandemic and, with the generosity of our supporters, worked to keep emergency animal services and other critical programs open.
Every year, hundreds of orphaned kittens enter our care in critical need of life-saving medical treatment. Until 2020, these kittens were immediately comforted by the staff and volunteers of our onsite kitten nursery. Unfortunately, the size and shape of Dakin’s kitten intensive care unit does not allow for appropriate social distancing and could not be safely opened.
Knowing the number of kittens with extraordinary medical needs would increase as summer approached, Dakin’s expansive network of foster caregivers didn’t hesitate to open their homes to create remote ICUs. Many of these caregivers were already equipped with the specialized training needed to care for this vulnerable population. Kittens found to be in critical condition received round-the-clock care in the homes of some of our experienced veterinary technicians until they were stable enough to move into foster homes for the remainder of their treatment. This act of compassion and dedication allowed Dakin to continue admitting critically ill orphaned kittens in need.
All through summer, our fosters shared photos and stories with us of each kitten’s unique story and care plan and we had the privilege of watching them grow from critically ill, orphaned infants to strong, playful kittens who had such a zest for life and love of humans, especially the ones who worked tirelessly to save them and carry them on their journey to good health.
We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the quick thinking, fast action, and generosity of our skilled foster network, our in-house animal caregivers, and the inspiring generosity of supporters like you. The pandemic continues to present challenges for us, but because of you, we can keep saying, “yes” when it matters most.