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Saving Orphaned Newborns: PAWS’ bottle feeder program has arrived!

Of all the animals entering Philadelphia’s shelters, the most vulnerable are orphaned kittens who cannot yet eat on their own. Too weak to thrive in the shelter, their only chance at survival is to be immediately rescued and bottle-fed at home by a foster parent – a challenging but incredibly rewarding job. Our ability to save these tiny ones has always been limited, but we’re thrilled to be rolling out our new bottle-feeder program thanks to an Innovation Grant from Maddie’s Fund.

To save them, we need you! Kittens need to be fed around the clock every 2-3 hours until they are around 4 weeks old. This is a daunting task, especially for newer foster parents, so we have created a team approach: you can sign up to foster a litter for several weeks, one week, or as little as 24 hours. When a nursing litter arrives at the city shelter without a mother, we’ll send an alert to our bottle-feeding team and take sign-ups to create a care schedule. As soon as we have coverage lined up, we’ll be on our way to the city shelter to rescue them! If your work schedule is a limiting factor, litters can be dropped off at our clinics for daytime care (8:30-4:30 at Grays Ferry and 8:30-6 at Grant Avenue).

Before signing up, we ask that you read this booklet created by the Kitten Lady for an in-depth guide that will provide a good idea of what it takes to successfully care for bottle-feeders.

What we need from you:

  • Complete our foster care application.
  • Email maria@phillypaws.org if you can’t foster but could be available to transport litters from one foster parent to the next.
  • Feed the kittens while in your care, closely monitor them to ensure that they are healthy and comfortable, and coordinate with the next foster parent who is signed up to take the litter.
  • Give plenty of love to the kittens in your care!

What PAWS provides: Everything!

  • Supplies: each litter will be sent home with a carrier, snuggle safe heating disc, bottles, formula, blankets, and a “baby book” to track milestones.
  • Any medical care needed including routine vaccines and preventive care.
  • 24-hour emergency phone line.
  • A support system to help you as you learn.

To get started, please fill out our foster application and we’ll contact you. Be sure to note in your application that you are interested in the bottle-feeding program. Together, we can save them!

Meet the First Graduates!