‘Kitten season’ fills shelters, rescuers’ homes

These kittens are in need of new homes and will be available at Wednesday’s adoption fair from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at U Dirty Dog in Spearfish. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson 

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SPEARFISH — When a stray female cat found its way to a residence in Whitewood in August and promptly presented as pregnant, the home owners knew that one person the entire town seems to have on speed dial for predicaments of this nature.

Lori Tetreault is known throughout the town of Whitewood and the surrounding area as “the cat lady” for her work with feline rescues and feeding feral cats and Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., she’ll host a fall kitten adoption fair at U Dirty Dog in Spearfish featuring 15 kittens, all with shots, and all about 8 weeks old.

“The kitten season has exploded once again,” said Tetreault. “Unfortunately, there are not enough homes available for these precious babies. There are options available to curb the endless cycle of cat overpopulation through low-cost spay/neuter services available, by contacting non-profit organizations such as West River Spay/Neuter Coalition, Twin City Shelter and Operation Pets. On the other hand, donations to supplement these programs is very critical. Without donations, these options would not be available.”

Tetreault said there are just a handful of cat rescuers in the area.

“It puts a dent in their pocket financially and can be emotionally exhausting as well,” she said. “Volunteers are at such a shortage, whether it’s assisting with trapping, transporting to a veterinarian for spay/neuter, health issues requiring medical care, rehoming, feeding, fostering, the list goes on and on.”

A female cat can go into heat as young as 4 to 6 months old and can have an average of two litters per year, averaging four kittens per litter. 

“Realistically, over 12 years, one un-spayed female with all of her un-spayed female offspring, reasonably can be expected to be responsible for over 3,200 kittens with no human intervention,” Tetreault said. “Cats can be spayed as young as 4 months old. Pregnant and lactating cats can also be spayed.”

For more information about the adoption fair, spay/neuter, donations, or volunteering to help with the cause, contact Lori Tetreault at 645-7630.

Both cats and dogs are also always available for adoption at local animal shelters.

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