Kitten Season and Responsible Pet Ownership

Grand Prairie kittens
Kittens need good homes this time of year Photo courtesy of City of Grand Prairie

GRAND PRAIRIE – Spring is kitten season.

And it has never been a better time to adopt a friend.

While residents around the Dallas/Fort Worth area are sheltering in place a pet could be a good way to add something to the experience.

Lily Yap, Division Manager, Grand Prairie Animal Services said that while adoption appointments have been discontinued now for pet adoptions the shelter is still actively looking for foster volunteers.

“We ran the numbers and last season we took in about 1200 underaged kittens at the shelter in need of foster families,” Yap said. “This is a big number, but we realized with over 60,000 households in Grand Prairie, it would take only around one percent of our community households fostering just one pair of kittens per season to get them all out.”

A bonus Yap said is the fact that kittens are “perfect furry balls of entertainment for children and adults.”

The kittens will likely begin to show up as the spring progresses and through the summer and foster families are appreciated.

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Remember to spay and neuter too

Jacob Carty of the Spay Neuter Network (SNN) also reminds people of the importance of making sure your pet is not having unnecessary babies during this time.

With all that is happening regarding COVID-19, the Dallas and Fort Worth SSN offices are closed until April 3 and the Crandall clinic is closed from March 30 to April 4.

Residents can still call to make an appointment to have their pet spayed or neutered when the facility is open again.

“Pets still need to be fixed to reduce the number of unwanted animals in the community,” Carty added. “Pet owners may not be thinking of getting their pets fixed during these uncertain times, but it’s still needed to keep live release rates at the city shelter above 90% and our neighborhoods safe. If a pet owner will be working from home for a few days or weeks, this might be a very good time to get your pet fixed.”

Pet owners don’t have to come to the clinic to have their dog fixed either. SNN operates a transport program that will pick up dogs or cats from various locations around the city on the morning of their surgeries and return them to the same location afterward that same afternoon.

Animal vaccinations are important too

Carty said residents need to remember the importance of making sure your pet is current with its vaccinations.

“This time of year it can be especially dangerous for puppies and kittens who aren’t vaccinated, as they are extremely susceptible to parvovirus and distemper,” said Carty. “While we have cancelled all vaccination clinics throughout the Metroplex, pet owners can still get their puppies, kittens, dogs and cats, vaccinated at one of our three clinics in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Crandall when the facility is open again in early April.”

Carty suggested pet owners wanting vaccines for their pets should visit to read about new cleaning protocols and social-distancing practices, which includes car check-ins, so they don’t have to come into the clinic.

Pets need to stay on their flea, tick and heartworm preventatives. The health of a pet doesn’t change because of a crisis. Pet owners not wanting to visit clinics or pet stores for these preventatives can call SNN at 972-472-3500 and they will have these preventatives sent directly to their homes.

Carty concluded with a reminder that there is currently no evidence that companion animals can become ill with COVID-19 or transmit the virus to humans. Like the precautions recommended to prevent human transmission, the World Organization of Animal Health currently recommends regular hand washing with soap and potable water before and after touching animals, their food, or their supplies.