BLOOMINGTON – The City of Bloomington Animal Shelter has a new addition—a kitten nursery.
A $7,000 grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) helped make the shelter possible. The money came from the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, which the shelter competed in last year. The city also contributed money.
The space is designed to meet the specific needs of kittens. But, according to Director Laurie Ringquist, it will also help ease overcrowding and lead to better overall health for older cats.
“Competing in the $100K Challenge was an incredibly rewarding experience, and we are so thankful to have the funding to help us complete this project, which we expect will help us further reduce our euthanasia rate and place more healthy kittens in loving homes,” Ringquist said.
Ringqist said the shelter is flooded each spring and summer with hundreds of newborn kittens and nursing moms. The group is at risk of contracting potentially dangerous upper respiratory infections and needs to be isolated.
The shelter’s previous configuration didn’t allow any room for isolation. After analyzing the building, staff developed plans to renovate a dog room, storage closets and a dish washing/laundry area into the kitten nursery. New arrivals can now be isolated from the general population pending placement in a foster home or adoption.
Grant money went to buy new kennels and other material for the new area, including soundproofing panels capable of reducing noise that can cause the animals stress.