A motorhome + 40 hours on the road = 97 kittens rescued

97 kittens in a mobile home sounds like paradise to a cat lover, but as the Best Friends Animal Society reported, “It was a trip to save their lives.” For the kittens, the destination would be paradise – the paradise of an eternal home.

The nearly 100 kittens rescued now have a chance to grow up happy and healthy thanks to the efforts of the Best Friends Animals Society and their great volunteers.

Best Friends Animal Society / Facebook

These dedicated cat lovers are exposed to the tidal wave of kittens that hit shelters every year when the weather warms up. And this year is no different. As early as kitten season, the flood of cats and kittens that need to be rescued in Texas began. When the Palm Valley Animal Society (PVAS) in Edinburgh saw their hands full of furry babies, they called for help on Facebook.

Save kitten life

Amy Kohlbecker, Director of Cat World at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, saw the PVAS request for so many needy kittens and set out to help. Amy contacted Carrie Lalonde, Best Friends Texas Life Saving Director, to find out how the Edinburgh kittens could be transported to Best Friends Utah branches.

It turned out that Carrie was already at work trying to arrange transport of orphaned kittens from SPCA out of Brazoria County, a shelter near Houston, TX. The shelter was overwhelmed by Dozens of kittens. Amy and Carrie knew they had a big task ahead of them and were faced with the question of how to move nearly 100 kittens that need 24/7 care.

Best Friends Animal Society / Facebook

Amy joked about renting an RV, but the more they talked about logistics, the more useful the RV made. Space for all of the kittens and space for the volunteers who would take care of them. It seemed an easy task to find the RV and volunteers.

Let’s ride!

Peter Dayton and Chris Sotirake, two transport volunteers with a wealth of experience moving animals, were ready to go. Best Friends’ Megan Lee and volunteers Penny and Bob Burleson loaded themselves up with Peter and Chris ready for the feeding, cleaning and care that young kittens need. The drive from TX to UT would take many hours, but all the work would definitely be worth it!

The RV rolled from Houston to Edinburgh with the first wave of kittens and volunteers on board. After collecting the kittens from PVAS, the load was 97 kittens heavy! The journey from Texas to the Sanctuary in Kanab, UT took 40 hours. Upon arrival in Kanab, the furry people and their caretakers were greeted by 25 people ready to pamper the babies carried on the street with good food and good care. But the trip wasn’t quite over yet.

Best Friends Animal Society / Facebook

While the kittens were moving, Jackie Hernandez, care coordinator for Best Friends, contacted her volunteer caregivers in Kanab and Salt Lake City. The result? All 97 kittens are now being cared for and will be healthy and strong for their paradises to come!

Best Friends Animal Society / Facebook

“Without foster homes and these life-saving transportation, the kittens’ chances of survival were not good,” Carrie said. “But by working together we were able to save these litters of baby kittens.”

72 hours made it

Within 72 hours, the mission of moving the kittens went from inspiration to success. Talk about impressive! But that is exactly what animal rescuers and volunteers do. They are taking lifesaving steps every day to ensure cats in need receive the love and safety they deserve.

Best Friends Animal Society / Facebook

“Kitten season sounds cute, but it can be devastating for our shelters,” said Amy. “Our volunteers know they will lose some sleep, but knowing that you played an important lifesaving role is so rewarding.”

And the work won’t stop until every cat finds a home!

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Feature Image: Best Friends Animal Society / Facebook


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