Baby Brigade at HSSM needs kitten foster homes

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Baby Brigade foster program at the Humane Society of South Mississippi needs families to foster kittens in the coming weeks.

From now until April, thousands of kittens will be born in South Mississippi. Many will be taken to the Humane Society in Gulfport, but not all will be old enough for adoption. That's why the "Baby Brigade" foster program was created.

"The truth across the country is that four to six million pets enter shelters each year and only two to three million will make it out," Krystyna Szczechowski with Humane Society said.

HSSM's Countdown To Zero initiative to end animal euthanasia by 2015 has been very effective. Aggressive spaying and neutering programs have paid off and the rates are declining. But every life in a shelter is at risk. The next eight weeks are known as 'kitten season,' and the shelter is bracing for about 500 kittens to arrive.

"Of course, every one loves kittens. They're adorable. How can you not want to take them home? But the reality is all of the kittens come in at the same time, at the same age, which is generally too young for adoption. That's why we depend on foster homes and the Baby Brigade is aimed at identifying people who are interested in giving care for just a few weeks."

Daniel Ornsbey is part of the Baby Brigade. He says it's fun, easy and gratifying.

"Go for it," Ornsbey said. "It's very rewarding and the outcome is amazing. Most fosters average just around two weeks. So 14 days to save a life? You can't really beat that!"

And a lot of litters, they say, come in with the momma cat who does most of the work for you.

"They really are low maintenance," Krystyna said. "We'll give you supplies, support and any kind of information you would need as a foster parent for kittens."

If you're interested in becoming part of the "Baby Brigade" kitten fostering program, call (228) 822-3803.

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