As the weather warms up it means that community members can finally get back outside to enjoy the fresh air on a warm spring day. But spring means a lot more to the Friends of Marshall Animals, because Spring means kitten season.

“A lot of people when they think of us they think of just dogs, but we help cats too. In fact, we can help any animal as long as we have a volunteer, someone who knows how to care for it,” said Kelli Smith.

Smith recently took over the FOMA cat adoption program with Jennifer Kribakorn, and is looking to recruit new help as kitten season kicks off.

“Right now we have nine fosters, and we are certain that one of them is pregnant,” Smith said. “But that number is of course going to keep growing.”

She said that the organization is looking for volunteers to help foster cats and kittens. FOMA pays for all of the financial costs associated with the care of the animals, and asks only for volunteers to provide their love and care for the animals and to offer transportation to and from different appointments.

“We also have an online Facebook page where if someone can’t make a vet appointment, or make it to a pick up, other volunteers can say ‘Oh I have nothing going on right now, I can go’ so it really is a community effort,” Smith said.

Additionally, the amount of time each volunteer spends with their foster pet can vary from very short, to a few months, depending on the complexity of the case. Most of the cats available for adoption go to Pet Sense in Marshall, where they are kept until they can be adopted.

She said that she is working closely with Kribakorn to try to strengthen and expand the cat adoption program, hoping eventually to put in place a catch and release program for local strays.

“If they are feral, and can’t be socialized, having this program would help to reduce the number of cat colonies we have locally,” she said.

Along with volunteers, Smith said that the organization is always looking for donations of items or financial assistance to help them continue to offer the services that they do to the local animal population.

Possible items to donate to help with the cat adoption program include cat and kitten food, milk for kittens, litter, collars and toys for cats, old blankets and towels, carriers, or anything else a pet owner would need to care for their new furry friends.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the FOMA cat adoption program can contact Smith at (903) 930-9739 or Kribakorn at (903) 452-1683, through text or call.

For additional information on the Friends of Marshall Animals go to nonprofits website at https://friendsofmarshallanimals.org/.

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