May 28, 2012 8:12 PM by Kathy Kuretich

The surprising stats on this year's kitten season

In this week's Pet Tales, it's all about kittens!

During the spring and early summer, shelters and non-profit groups gear up for a population explosion.

And with this year's mild winter, kitten season was predicted to be one of the worst.

We checked-in with shelters across the Central Coast and found some surprising news.Love is in the air for feral and unaltered cats during the winter months, but come spring, countless babies are born - often times they're found abandoned or starving.

"Kitten season usually starts around April, and we're just inundated with calls from people, shelters start filling up," said Steve Kragenbrink, Community Programs Director at Woods Humane Society.

With this year's mild, dry winter, many predicted the numbers to be higher than usual. But turns out, they've actually declined.

At Woods Humane Society and San Luis Obispo Animals Services, it's down by 27-percent.

"Point blank and simple the question at the shelter is where are all the kittens? I'm hoping this is is the result of all the aggressive spay and neuter efforts we've been making," said Kragenbrink.

At North County Humane Society, the numbers are down, too, they say by 50-percent.

Sherry Chapman, NCHS Animal Coordinator credits programs like Spay it Forward at Woods Humane Society, increased owner awareness, and the efforts of some non-profits like Paws Cause for catching, altering, and releasing feral cats... especially in North County.

"Catching the feral population, I think that's made a big difference in North County that I've seen. Less cats will be euthanized," said Chapman.

Right now, NCHS has 70 kittens, 21 are bottle babies which Sherry is fostering until they can come to the shelter for adoption. She said, most are already spoken for - another good sign.

And there are 14 kittens at Santa Maria Valley Humane Society, where they're running a two for one kitty special.

"What the cats would otherwise do to maybe your carpet and your furniture and your drapes, they'll do on each other. They'll rumble and tumble and play on each other and you'll just have double the fun," said Bobbi Gilman with SMVHS.

June is national "Adopt a Shelter Cat" month.

At Woods Humane Society, you can name your price when you adopt a cat.



SLO County Animal Shelters

ASAP:  Animal Shelter
Adoption Partners

900 Stagecoach, Arroyo Grande
Phone: (805) 489-0689

North County Humane Society
2300 Ramona Road, Atascadero
Phone: (805) 466-5403

SLO County Animal Services
885 Oklahoma Ave, SLO
Phone: (805) 781-4400

Second Chance at Love
P.O. Box 396, Templeton
Phone: (805) 434-3982

Pounce Cat Shelter
259 Los Padres, Los Osos
Phone: (805) 528-2917

Woods Humane Society
875 Oklahoma Ave, SLO
Phone: (805) 543-9316


SB County Animal Shelters

DAWG: Dog Adoption & Welfare Group
5480 Overpass, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 681-0561

Animal Services: Lompoc Shelter
1501 West Central, Lompoc
Phone: (805) 737-7755

Animal Services: Santa Barbara Shelter
5473 Overpass Road, Goleta
Phone: (805) 681-5285

Animal Services: Santa Maria Shelter
548 West Foster, Santa Maria
Phone: (805) 934-6119

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society
751 Black Road, Santa Maria
Phone: (805) 349-3435

Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society
111 Commerce, Buellton
Phone: (805) 688-8224