Foster parenting cats

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NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP– They’re cute, playful and fit in the palm of your hand. And before anyone can adopt a kitten, they need care and nurturing to be on their own. With the mama cats help, people can foster cat families until they find their forever homes.

“We had initially started fostering through a program called Barn Cat Buddies and Babies because our family is really passionate about spay and neuter,” said Melynie Makinen, foster cat mom. “They do trap neuter and release and because they’ve been doing it for five years now, they’ve made such a huge impact at all of these local farms. Now we’re branching out and we’re fostering for rescues, shelters…”

Melynie and her family have six cats of their own in Negaunee Township. Right now, they are also fostering a mom with nine babies from Almost Home Animal Shelter in Dickinson County.

James Kinnunen of Ishpeming fosters cats as well. Between the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter Barn Cats Buddies and Babies and Almost Home Animal Shelter, he’s fostered over 400 cats of all ages.

“It’s really easy,” said Kinnunen. “The shelters, the rescue, they’ll provide you with food, litter, medical if somebody gets sick.”

“You can have kittens for just a few days or a couple of weeks where they just need to grow a little bit and spay and neuter and find their forever home and then sometimes you get kittens that are born in your home and have them for 8-12 weeks,” said Makinen.

Both foster parents say there is a great need for people to temporarily take in these animals.

“The easiest and biggest resource that you can give shelters and rescues is your home to foster,” said Makinen. “Because if there is not enough fosters, then they are filling up the shelters. Fostering saves lives.”

For more information on fostering click here.

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