OKC Animal Welfare asks pet owners to 'Wait till 8'
It's almost that time of year when shelters across the country start to bust at the seams with puppies and kittens. Oklahoma City Animal Welfare is no different. In 2017, more than 6,500 puppies and kittens entered the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter.
It is very challenging keeping puppies and kittens healthy in the shelter environment. Most of them come in with no vaccination history. The shelter vaccinates all animals upon entry to the shelter, however, many of them have been exposed to disease before arriving.
Puppies and kittens need their mothers for about the first six weeks of their lives in order to help build their immunity. In the shelter, puppies and kittens under this age require fostering, and there aren't always enough homes to handle the volume coming in.
This is why Oklahoma City Animal Welfare is asking you to “Wait till 8.” Eight weeks is an important age in animal shelters. This is the age when puppies and kittens are old enough to be spayed/neutered so they can be adopted. At eight weeks, puppies and kittens also have had an opportunity to build some immunity to help them stay healthy during their time in the shelter.
Oklahoma City Animal Welfare will provide resources to residents who find litters of puppies or kittens, or owners whose pets had an unexpected litter, to help during the time it takes for the animals to reach eight weeks of age. When possible, litters should be kept with their mothers until about six weeks of age.
If you are an Oklahoma City resident whose pet has had an unexpected litter and you would like to ensure that it doesn't happen again in the future, you can schedule an appointment to have your pet spayed or neutered at no charge by calling 313-1469.
If you want to assist the shelter in caring for the large number of puppies and kittens coming in this summer, you can sign up to be a volunteer or foster parent by going to www.okc.gov/animalwelfare.
To find out more about Oklahoma City Animal Welfare and available resources, visit the shelter, 2811 SE 29, or go to www.okc.gov/animalwelfare.
Jonathan Gary is Oklahoma City Animal Welfare superintendent. He has worked at Oklahoma City Animal Welfare for 18 years, working in all areas of operation leading up to his promotion to superintendent in August 2016.