Kittens! Kitten season is peaking at HART in Cambria. HART (Homeless Animal Rescue Team) is Cambria’s “no-kill” cat shelter that rescues cats and kittens from all across the county.

Currently, due to the Covid-19 lockdown, very few adult cats are being housed at the shelter. Staff is limited and many of the regular volunteers have had to cut back for their health and safety. But other volunteers have stepped up to become foster “parents.” At this writing, more than 40 kittens and a dozen adult cats are being fostered. These caring volunteers help socialize the kittens, manage their growth and help make them more adoptable.

Medical Director, Evelyn Zanella said, “We take in moms and their babies and get them used to people, then we get them spayed or neutered so they can be adopted.”

Zanella began as a volunteer at HART in 2012 in a part-time position. Soon that part time job grew into “about 80 hours a week.” She oversees all the intakes, administers meds and vaccinations, and schedules vet visits. “It’s all worth it when you see a cat that comes from a desperate situation to going home to a loving family,” Zanella said.

A separate fund has been set aside at HART specifically for cats that are in need of medical attention. The Guardian Angel Fund helps cover the medical costs for extensive tests, broken limbs, or surgeries, even if the cat is determined to be unadoptable. HART is committed to doing everything they can to give a cat a good quality of life, even if they spend their entire life at the facility.

To donate to the Guardian Angel Fund, readers can visit the website at SLOHART.org. If you are considering adopting a pet, it is possible during the lockdown. Though you can’t go to the shelter, you can see photos on their website as well as their social media sites. Interviews are done over the phone with the foster parent where you can learn all about the animal and its personality. Agreements and adoption fees are all handled by phone and then the foster parent will bring your new cat to the shelter for you to pickup. All with no contact for a safe adoption.

Folks who think they have what it takes to foster kittens, can contact Foster Coordinator, Brittany Donecho.

“A good foster is someone willing to open their heart and warm home to an animal in need,” Donecho said. “Kittens don’t require much space, but they need plenty of love and care in order to ensure they maintain good health and are properly socialized to prepare them for adoption. HART provides plenty of support to our foster families to ensure they have all of the tools they need to help them succeed. This includes the cost of medical care and any supplies the foster needs. The more animals our volunteers are able to foster, the more lives we can save.”

To reach Brittany Donecho, call HART at 805-927-7377. To make a donation, visit the website at SLOHART.org.