|© Tabi Walters|
by Kimberly Elsifor
On a ninety-degree day in July, a party at Gallup Park honored Sasha, Sophia, Tucker, Dara, and Prima--all motherless kittens in need of new homes. The hosts, Shari Wilcox, Debbie Phillips, and local radio personality Dean Erskine, met as volunteers for the Humane Society of Huron Valley. Now they're also board members of a new nonprofit, the Michigan Orphan Kitten Rescue (MOKR, mikittens.org).
Wilcox says they realized that existing shelters needed help caring for the youngest kittens, who during their first weeks must be bottle-fed every few hours--a job Erskine calls "heartbreaking and rewarding." Sasha, Sophia, and Tucker were born to a feral cat in suburban Detroit; Prima and Dara's mother was killed by a car the day after they were born. MOKR's "kitty fosters" will nurse them through their first six weeks, get them their first shots, and have them spayed or neutered and micro-chipped so they're ready to go to permanent homes (adoption fees start at $95).
Guests at the July1 "kitten shower," recruited through word of mouth and Facebook, donated several thousand dollars in cash and gift cards. No one took home a kitten--supporters interviewed typically already had two cats and a dog, most of them rescues--but by mid-July, Tucker's adoption was pending. The others will be available at the Ann Arbor Pet Fest, August 11 and 12 at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds.
[Originally published in August, 2012.]
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