Veterinary clinics and animal welfare agencies are encouraged to limit non-emergency surgeries, including spay/neuter, during the COVID-19 pandemic (UWM School of Veterinary Medicine, ASPCA). Doing so will help conserve PPE to support health care professionals and reduce staffing needs to prevent risk for exposure.

These events are taking place right just prior to “kitten season,” a period of time in the Spring where hundreds of kittens enter animal shelters all at once. Kitten season is one of the most challenging times of the year in shelters around the country as staff and volunteers struggle to place kittens in homes. Programming is in place to help address the homeless cat population, including Gateway Pet Guardians’ TNR Program and Spay/Neuter Program, but both have ceased during this time. As you can imagine, staff, volunteers and community members are concerned about the impending spike in the homeless cat population over the next several months.

There will be kittens–plenty of them–in need as a result. We are asking the community to help with this issue to limit the needless killing of cats and kittens in shelter facilities and alleviate stress on animal control and shelter staff. Healthy kittens belong with their mothers–not in a cage. Mother’s milk provides the absolute best chance for survival for kittens, and removing them from mom and taking to an animal shelter puts them at risk. Furthermore, many cats and kittens are very likely to find new homes in the neighborhoods they are raised. Follow the steps below to determine if kittens should be left where they were found–you could be saving a life!


Gateway Pet Guardians is constantly assessing and reviewing recommendations provided by local and national organizations regarding safety and programming. We are eager to continue and expand our life-saving programming on the other side of this pandemic, and appreciate your help in keeping cats and kittens out of the shelter until then. By keeping healthy cats and kittens out of the shelter, we can focus resources on helping at-risk cats and kittens, including orphans and those with injuries.