CHICAGO — Seven kittens are in the care of PAWS Chicago after they were abandoned at the animal rescue Monday afternoon.
Now, the no-kill shelter’s workers hope to nurse the kittens back to health and educate the public about what to do when they need to surrender pets.
PAWS Chicago workers don’t know who left the kittens, only that they were left in a box with a handwritten message explaining that their mother had died and they were dehydrated, hungry and anemic. PAWS vets determined the kittens had conjunctivitis, or pink eye, and had upper respiratory infections that needed treatment.
The kittens are also “pretty underweight,” said PAWS COO Kristina Rosinia.
The kittens — named Pike, Picard, Posey, Paxton, Peter, Porthos and Piper — are unable to eat on their own and are being syringe-fed. They’re being fostered by one of PAWS’s most-experienced foster homes, and they’re receiving treatment for their infections.
If the kittens can eat on their own in the next week or two, PAWS Chicago will look for foster homes that can socialize them until they’re ready for adoption, Rosinia said.
This isn’t the first time PAWS has received animals like this, despite not being an open-intake shelter, Rosinia said.
“Although it’s unlawful to abandon animals, and we always encourage people to contact shelters, we do occasionally get animals dropped off at our medical center or adoption center, and we certainly do whatever we can to help them,” Rosinia said.
If someone has an animal that needs help, they can contact the PAWS Chicago intake team, whose members can give them guidance on where to take animals in need.
PAWS also has its PAWS for Life Community Outreach program for people who need help with pets but who may not want to bring them into the shelter. The program provides underserved communities with services, including spay/neuter surgeries, contactless veterinary appointments and pet food deliveries.
The rescue’s Crisis Care program handles more immediate animal-related issues.
Rosinia encourages people who may be interested in fostering or adopting the kittens to contact PAWS. Foster homes that work with PAWS will be provided with all food, medication and supplies the animals need for the duration of their stay.
Information about fostering through PAWS is available online.
“Our team is here to support and provide any training or information that they need to learn how to care for the animals,” Rosinia said. “And every foster family that stops up really saves two lives because they take home an animal and they open up a space for PAWS to save another life.”
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: