One of the surviving four kittens fighting for their lives at the CritterAid Animal Sanctuary. (Submitted photo)

Four kittens fighting for their lives at Okanagan animal sanctuary

Four kittens of a litter of nine found in Salmon Arm are struggling to survive.

Four kittens are fighting for their young lives in the care of Summerland’s CritterAid Animal Sanctuary.

It’s staff and volunteers along with veterinary care personnel are working around the clock to try to save the surviving members of a litter of nine, day-old kittens found alongside their dead mother recently among the garbage at the Salmon Arm landfill.

“We were happy to take them in, we have access to full veterinary care here 24 hours a day, these four are still fighting for their lives, it truly is just a moment by moment thing,” said Jess Byer, CritterAid animal director. “We’re hopeful but a couple of them are not showing good growth, three of them we’re definitely very very hopeful and then one we’re quite concerned about, she’s half the size of her brothers it doesn’t look good for her but we never give up. We just believe everybody deserves a fighting chance.”

That 24-hour care involves feeding the kittens and making sure they are going to the bathroom, which is something the mother would have helped them learn if she was still alive.

“So we have to make sure their bathroom duties are happening regularly and frequently, we have to make sure their bellies are full but not too full,” said Byer. “Right now we’re watching for upper respiratory infections so their breathing has to be watched, their weight has to be watched, they’re weighed twice a day and right now it’s just around the clock keeping them warm, keeping them safe and hoping that they grow.”

CritterAid was initially contacted by a sister agency, Shuswap Paws Rescue, after they were unable to care for the little ones.

The four add to the already growing numbers of kittens CritterAid is looking after both at it’s Summerland sanctuary and in their foster care program.

Byer said the total number of kittens is just shy of 100, 25 per cent of those are orphans.

“The number of orphaned kittens is the highest we’ve every seen,” she said. “People still just aren’t getting the message about spaying and neutering, there are a lot of options to help.”

READ MORE: Critteraid fundraiser in support of 53 sick and injured cats and kittens

She added the organization would be happy to assist people in making arrangements with the operations.

As part of its ongoing adoption program CritterAid is hosting huge event at the sanctuary June 21 and 22 from noon to 6 p.m.

Along with the kittens, there are 12 adults looking for their forever homes.

READ MORE: Concert to benefit Critteraid

In addition to the adoption program there will be sanctuary tours by appointment, a plant-based cookout, fun lawn activities for all ages, an “epic” silent auction and information about CritterAid’s various programs including volunteering, sponsorship, donating and more.

People are encouraged to drop in anytime but for tours or adoptions, advanced registration is required and can be done by calling 250-488-3226.


 

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Two of four kittens that were found in Salmon Arm beside their dead mother and are being cared for by CritterAid. (Submitted photo)

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