By Janet McAfee
July 10 was National Kitten Day, but it is kitten day every day at the home of Jamie Sue and John Stout. These 5 precious kittens were recently found discarded in a box inside a gated Palm Desert country club. There was no mother in sight. Estimated to be 2 weeks old, the kittens were too young for cat food. They would not have survived much longer without round-the-clock bottle feeding. Could Loving All Animals save their lives?
It was miracle timing when Jamie Sue contacted Jeanette Guzman at LAA the day before the kittens were found. She inquired about fostering neonatal kittens and offered her services. With 20 years of experience, Jamie Sue was well prepared and happy to care for these precious tiny animals. She knew that at an estimated 2 weeks of age, the kittens required bottle feeding every 3 hours (luckily the time between feedings gets longer as they age).
Jamie Sue grew up loving animals and being part of 4H activities. A crisis often turns animal lovers into animal rescuers. In the year 2000, she was on duty as a 911 dispatcher for the Escalon Police Department. A call came in from a panicked animal control officer asking how to feed some tiny newborn kittens. An ardent cat lover, Jamie Sue knew nothing about bottle feeding neonatal babies but quickly did some research. Jamie Sue recalls, “I began bottle feeding the kittens during my breaks and lunch periods. Then I would take them home and bottle feed them until they were old enough to get spayed and neutered. That truly became the beginning point for me as far as saving kittens. It has now grown into a love affair of the heart.”
Over the past 20 years, her many foster kittens have ranged in age from 1 day to 6 weeks. “I wrangled my husband and my cat into being part of this.” John Stout took these lovely photos which showcase the animals for adoption. Included here is John’s photo of Delia, their current Loving All Animals’ foster.
Jamie Sue and John named the 5 new kittens after their children – Kimber, Jared, Dylan, Kali and Cain. “I love watching these kittens grow, cuddling and playing with them, and then seeing them go to loving homes. My husband and I put together enrichment activities for them including a climbing apparatus. In my foster home, the animals experience a lot of learning that can’t happen in a shelter setting.”
Jamie Sue enthusiastically exclaims, “Many years later, and several shelters later, I got the great opportunity to work with Loving All Animals. I was not only able to foster from bottle baby to spay and neuter, but I had the unique opportunity to see them go home to their loving families. I didn’t know my heart could handle this step with my five ‘quarantine’ kittens. Anyone raising animals during this quarantine knows how close you become to them. But to my surprise I didn’t shed a tear on their adoption day as I told their new families about their unique personalities and shared their photos. The adoptive families were ever so grateful, and I was grateful to get the chance to meet them. I even babysat one of these fosters while the family went on vacation!”
What would Jamie Sue want other people to know about fostering? “The need to save kittens is not only my desire but has become my husband’s and my family’s desire. Together we share the joy of giving kittens a life they might never have had. They are the most vulnerable when they are small and their eyes are closed. They just need a full belly and a sweet place to lay their sweet heads. You don’t have to know anything about neonatal kittens to get started, but you can learn as I did. Or you can foster older kittens or adult cats that don’t need bottle feeding. Trust me when I tell you, fostering is the most rewarding thing you can do for these precious animals. They repay you with their love.”
Contact Loving All Animals at www.lovingallaniamls.org, call (760) 834-7000, and Like their Facebook page. Five more precious lives saved! Five more happy families!
Below is a partial list of shelters and rescues in the Inland Empire with animals for adoption. Most of these shelters remain closed for walk-ins; Call for an appointment. You can view most of their animals online in advance of calling.
COACHELLA VALLEY ANIMAL CAMPUS – This county shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. You can view the animals at all 4 Riverside county shelters at www.rcdas.org, and get the ID number of the animal you want to meet. Email them with the animal’s ID number at email@example.com and call (760) 343-3644. Located at 72050 Pet Land Place, Thousand Palms. (Public)
PALM SPRINGS ANIMAL SHELTER – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. They schedule appointments Wednesday through Monday, closed on Tuesday. View their animals online at www.psanimalsshelter.org, 4575 E. Mesquite Ave, Palm Springs, (760) 416-5718. (Public)
ANIMAL SAMARITANS – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. View their animals at www.animalsamaritans.org. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to foster. Located at 72307 Ramon Rd, Thousand Palms, (760) 601-3918. (Private)
CALIFORNIA PAWS RESCUE – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. Located at 73650 Dinah Shore, Palm Desert. View their animals at www.californiapawsrescue.com, (760) 656-8833. (Private)
HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE COACHELLA VALLEY – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt a dog or cat. View their animals at www.orphanpet.com. Located at 17825 N. Indian Canyon, Palm Springs, (760) 329-0203. (Private)
KITTYLAND – The shelter is closed so call for an appointment to adopt a cat. Located at 67600 18th Avenue, Desert Hot Springs, www.kittylandrescue.org, (760) 251-2700. (Private)
FOREVER MEOW – Foster based rescue for cats located in Rancho Mirage. Contact them at www.ForeverMeow.org, call (760) 335-6767. (Private)
PRETTY GOOD CAT – Foster based rescue for cats located in La Quinta. Contact them at www.prettygoodcat.com,call (760) 660-3414 (Private)
LOVING ALL ANIMALS – The shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. Located at 83496 Avenue 51, Coachella, www.lovingallanimals.org, (760) 834-7000. (Private)
MORONGO BASIN HUMANE SOCIETY – Located at 4646 Sun View Rd, Joshua Tree, www.mbhumanesociety.com, call between 11am-4pm for updates (760) 366-3786 (Private)
CITY OF SAN BERNARDINO ANIMAL SHELTER – Shelter is closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. Hours for adoption 10am – 4pm Tuesday thru Sat. Google “City of San Bernardino Animal Shelter” for website to view animals and get the ID number of the animal you want to meet. Located at 333 Chandler Place, San Bernardino, (909) 384-1304 or (909) 384-7272. (Public)
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER AT DEVORE – Shelter closed but you can call for an appointment to adopt. Call (909) 386-9280 daily between 9am & 5pm. View animals at www.sbcounty.gov/acc and get the ID number of animal you want to meet. Located at 19777 Shelter Way, San Bernardino (Public).
DREAM TEAM ANGELS RESCUE – Foster based rescue located in Grand Terrace/San Bernardino area. Contact them through website www.DreamTeamangelsrescue.com, (360) 688-8884. (Private)