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Mesquite, TX – June 8, 2018 – Every day, Mesquite Animal Services (MAS) works closely with nonprofit rescue group Mesquite Animal Pawtners (MAP) to rescue animals who come into the shelter. Long after the shelter closes for the day, staff from MAS and MAP are working around the clock to rescue, repair and rehome our community’s homeless animals.
Recently the MAS-MAP partnership led to a new learning opportunity for A.C. New Middle School students. This spring, students have had opportunities to meet, cuddle with and learn about kittens. Seventh grade teacher MaryAnne Chiarelli—who also serves as MAP board member and dedicated foster mom to the kittens of MAP from Mesquite’s animal shelter—made the opportunity possible.
“The kittens first came to MAP as a neonatal litter,” said MaryAnne. “Once the kittens were old enough, I saw an opportunity for kitten education in the classroom. After getting our principal’s blessing, I loaded my babies and brought them to school. The experience has been good for students, staff and the kittens.”
A.C. New’s “kitten connection” comes at an important time for Mesquite’s rescue community, as spring is when many small kittens, neonatal kittens, pregnant cats and nursing cats are brought into the shelter. Mesquite Animal Services Manager Jeanne Saadi said, “It’s important that the community understands when a litter should be left alone and when they’re in need of rescue. MAS and MAP are working together to better educate the community about what to do when they find a litter of kittens.”
“Our biggest challenge last year was finding placement for dozens of litters of neonatal kittens that well-meaning residents thought had been abandoned,” said Jeanne. “In reality, these are litters that are being tended to by a mother cat, but were found at a time when mom was off finding food for herself. These kittens should be left alone until they are approximately 2-3 months old.”
Mesquite Animal Services, 1650 Gross Road, hosts events throughout the year to promote kitten fostering and adoption. A Trap-Neuter-Return class is held on the first Thursday of each month.
During kitten season, MAS and MAP are always in need of volunteers to help bottle feed orphaned kittens or foster a mom with kittens. Those interested are encouraged to contact MAP by email at [email protected] or by following the MAP Facebook page.
If you are unable to foster but would like to donate money or supplies for MAP’s efforts, you may donate via their PayPal account at [email protected].