Kitten season is in full swing. What that means for North Georgia Animal Alliance is an influx of homeless mother cats with their babies.
“We get overwhelmed this time of year,” says NGAA President Jillian Alexander-Hollis. “The mamas and kittens just keep pouring in.”
When a cat or kitten comes to NGAA, volunteers assign it to a foster home. Over the course of its stay, it’s prepared for adoption – it sees a vet, is spayed or neutered, given a rabies shot and treated for fleas and worms as needed.
“A lot of times,” says Alexander-Hollis, “cats are starving or underfed, so we make sure they eat well and grow healthy. Our fosters spend time socializing kittens and getting them used to people.”
Once a cat or kitten is ready to be adopted, it usually goes to Petsense in Fort Oglethorpe, which partners with NGAA to find homes for the little felines. People interested in adopting can go to Petsense to see cats that are available and can pick up an adoption application while they’re there.
“We’re particular about the homes our cats go to,” says Alexander-Hollis. “The purpose of all the questions on the application is to make sure people understand the seriousness of pet ownership and to make sure they’re a good match for a pet.”
NGAA works with shelters in area counties and with other rescue groups in the Eastern U.S. They help dogs as well as cats, though Alexander-Hollis says their main work at this time is with cats. “As more people volunteer, we’ll be able to expand the work we do with all animals,” she says.
“We’re supported by the community and occasional grants we get from groups that support animal rescue,” says Alexander-Hollis. “There are wonderful people in Catoosa and Walker counties and Chattanooga and other nearby areas who faithfully help us with money, litter, pet food and other supplies. There are vets who give us discounts and we buy worm and other medicines online where we can find bulk prices. Our vet bills run in the thousands every month.
“We’re fortunate to have some people in our area who really care about homeless animals,” Alexander-Hollis says. “But the need never stops. We need to spread the word about the importance of spaying and neutering and preventing the problem in the first place. We help people with spay-neuter costs if they qualify. We make weekly runs to a spay clinic with great prices. We’re here to help solve the problem of pet homelessness in any way we can.
“Our favorite part of this work,” Alexander-Hollis says, “is when people who have adopted animals send pictures and tell stories about their pets in their new homes. You can see many of the stories on our web site. People talk how much they love their new cat or dog and how adopting has changed their lives. That makes all the work worth it.”
To learn about cats or dogs available for adoption or to help or volunteer with NGAA, visit northgeorgiaanimalalliance.org or call 706-937-2287. North Georgia Animal Alliance is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) animal rescue organization that has been working in the north Georgia area for over 20 years.