Specific resource recommendations for kitten placement in the South Bay Area?
August 27, 2012 11:47 PM   Subscribe

My SO's parents have been hosting a pair of foster kittens since said kittens were born to a feral momcat in their yard on May 26 of this year. They're now old enough to be adopted...but I'm having a terribly hard time figuring out how to help find them homes. I'm in the Bay Area, California (near San Jose) and while there seem to be a number of cat rescue groups, I have no idea how to choose one or go about contacting them. Flurry of kitten-shaped snowflakes within.

The good news: the momcat who gave birth to the foster babies is now spayed and has rejoined her feline friends in the local feral colony (thanks to the Humane Society's free/low-cost feral TNR program).

The bad news: I can't take the kittens myself -- I already have 4 cats and that's quite enough. I've also asked everyone I work with and everyone I know locally friend-wise, and either they've got enough cats already, or someone has allergies, or they're just not in a good position to take on kittens right now. I get all that, and I would never want someone to take on a cat they didn't want or couldn't adequately care for. But I had no clue when I "signed up" to help my semi-in-laws find homes for the babies that it would be so darned difficult despite the extreme cuteness factor in their favor. (Needless to say, I've become a spay-neuter zealot of late...).

Hence, I'm wondering if there are any specific local groups and/or other resources liable to help with "kitten placement". Many many bonus points if said groups can be contacted via email -- one major stumbling block I'm dealing with is the fact that I have to minimize telephone use due to auditory-processing difficulties (basically, while I can "hear" fine, I have a terribly hard time understanding speech over the phone so I miss lots and it tires me out, making it impractical for me to make lots of calls in rapid succession, etc.). I've found websites for groups like TownCats but have not been able to get a "read" on how helpful they'd be or whether they're already so swamped they can't take on more kitties.

Also, I'd really like to avoid having the kittens kept in a cage anywhere while waiting for a home -- best-case scenario would be they'd stay at the SO's parents' house and people could go there to meet them. But again, I have no idea how one would work with a rescue group to accomplish that or whether that's even "done". Tips would be greatly appreciated, as would recommendations of agencies or groups specializing not so much in pre-adoption "cat storage" (we've got that bit covered) but in assistance finding potential homes and matching cats to said homes.

(Oh and per what seems to be the requirement around here, kitten photos abound: the one we're pretty sure is a girl, the one we're pretty sure is a boy, and a bonus sibling snuggle).
posted by aecorwin to Pets & Animals (12 answers total)
It's very noble of you to want to adopt them out yourself, but seriously - just take them to any shelter, and they will be adopted immediately. Trust me. Yes, this means they'll go in a cage, as you put it. They will not be in that situation for long.
posted by O9scar at 3:23 AM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

In my experience, a lot of private rescue groups do not take in "owner relinquished" cats. While your kittens are not really Pre-Owned, you might still have some difficulty finding a private group that will help.

In California, part of the reason for this is the way the laws are set up regarding a city shelter's ability to hold an animal. I do not know all the technicalities, but the jist of it is the shelter cannot legally house a cat or kitten unless it is eligible to be adopted. Pregnant cats, nursing moms, and kittens under the age of 8 weeks are NOT eligible for adoption because they cannot be spayed/neutered immediately. There are a lot of private rescue groups set up in CA specifically to rescue all of the pregnant cats, nursing moms, and kittens under 8 weeks that would otherwise be put down, since the shelter cannot legally hold them.

Since your kittens are past the 8 week stage, I agree with O9scar - your best bet may be to take them to a city shelter. They will spay/neuter them and likely adopt them out quickly.

Other options - look for a rescue group that will take owner relinquished kittens. Post on Craigslist. Put up "free kittens/kittens for sale" posters at local vets (ask permission of course) or other places that have community corkboards (local supermarkets, petstores, etc).

If you go the craigslist/poster route, please - if at all possible - get them spayed/neutered yourself first. Do not rely on whoever adopts them to do this. For that part alone I have to still recommend the shelter, as they will not adopt them out unless they are fixed.

Animals living in small, cramped cages is certainly no pleasant thought at all. But as kittens, the likelihood that they will have to endure that situation for very long is low.

Good luck, they are cuties for sure!
posted by Squee at 4:38 AM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

I got my cat through 13th Street Cats. They do adoption fairs almost every weekend and they might be willing to put your kitties on their website and let you join in on the fair without having to actually relinquish the kitties until they're adopted. It's worth a try, anyway.
posted by dogmom at 5:55 AM on August 28, 2012

What adorable babies.

I got 10 kittens adopted by posting on Facebook and letting folks at work know that I knew where kittens could be had.

I got all the kitties to the vet and had them checked out, wormed and given their shots. If they had been old enough, I would have had them neutered as well.

I'll keep a good thought for you, and hope that they get adopted together. My littermates are very happy and loving kitties.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:54 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you look through the animals available in your area on petfinder.com, you will see that they are all available through area shelters. There are generally links to the shelters from the 'organization info' page for each shelter. Here is a search for zip code 94112 area cats, just click on the shelter name and it will take you to an info page that generally includes a contact email address.

When I adopted my cats this past winter, they were associated with a shelter but were being privately fostered at a woman's house. That way, when the local pet stores were having their meet-n-greet-adopt-a-kitten days, she was able to bring them to the events yet have them stay with her the rest of the time. I don't know if you could rig up this kind of arrangement with one of the shelters, but it's worth a shot. Personally, as a person who was looking for a pet, having them in foster care was a huge bonus - the foster mom was able to tell me a lot about their day-to-day personalities in a home environment. (And they really are the awesomest cats ever.)
posted by 8dot3 at 9:15 AM on August 28, 2012

If you decide to go to one of the local shelters, chose Humane Society of Silicon Valley in Milpitas. However, your stray kittens were found in Sunnyvale, not San Jose because due to contractual issues HSSV will tell you to take them to the SJ city shelter on Monterey Hwy otherwise.

13th St Cats, as mentioned above, are a nice bunch of people. Their cats are usually hosted at the Petsmart on Coleman Ave, if you want to swing by there during an adoption event and talk to a fosterer.
posted by jamaro at 9:40 AM on August 28, 2012

Can your vet help you out by posting on their website or FB page, or putting up flyers in their office?
posted by radioamy at 10:42 AM on August 28, 2012

all: Thanks so much for your comments/suggestions...I'm at least feeling somewhat reassured now that these kittens still have a good chance of finding forever homes (or even better, one forever home for the pair of them). There's a pet store that just opened up down the street from me where I'm sure they'd let me post flyers, and I'll also check out 13th Street Cats as it sounds like they're still around (some rescue-y websites I've come across make it hard to tell if the group is still active).

jamaro: The kittens were found in Santa Clara, not Sunnyvale. The HSSV in Milpitas is where we've taken about 14 feral cats from the same neighborhood for spay/neuter (and that has made a *huge* difference for the street/neighborhood as well as for the quality of life of the cats). They've got a pretty nice adoption facility, but if we brought the babies there I'd want to be able to get assurance they'd contact us if the kittens were not adopted within whatever the standard time-window is and NOT kill them. Any clue who would be the best person to talk to there?
posted by aecorwin at 11:14 AM on August 28, 2012

To be more clear: due to a patchwork of each city contracting to different shelters, if you want HSSV to take the cats in for adoption as strays, you'll have to claim they were found in Sunnyvale because HSSV contracts with the city of Sunnyvale to accept their strays and will not intake strays found in Santa Clara (or San Jose or Milpitas). You'll also want to make sure they understand you found the cats as strays and are not surrendering them as pets because the difference between those two statuses is a few hundred bucks at intake.

City of Santa Clara is served by SVACA.

Dunno how well they are organized about contacting you after they intake, HSSV, SVACA and the SJ Humane Society are not no-kill shelters. 13th St Cats and TownCats rescue groups are no-kill.
posted by jamaro at 12:24 PM on August 28, 2012

jamaro: Ah, thanks for the clarifications. Thing is, the HSSV-Milpitas knows us already (via my in-laws having brought in so many cats for TNR already). They spayed the kittens' mom recently and they know about the kittens being fostered. So in addition to my not being especially comfortable with lying, it wouldn't exactly even *work* in this case because the kittens are a known quantity.

I might try contacting the HSSV myself at this point, if 13th Street Cats (who I've now contacted) can't help. Whatever the local regulations are, I'm thinking they might be cool with taking these particular kittens since they know we've got this whole family TNR thing going on.

I'll stop sitting on the proverbial thread now, but again, thank you for the info. Hopefully my next post in this thread, if there is one, will be to say "hooray, the kittens have been adopted!"
posted by aecorwin at 1:13 PM on August 28, 2012

ZOMG they're cute. if I didn't have a cat that temperamentally needs to remain an only-cat, I'd be driving to Sunnyvale tonight.
posted by Zed at 6:23 PM on August 28, 2012

OKAY MEGA HAPPY UPDATE: I am delighted to report that the kittens I was asking about in this post have been adopted!

13th Street Cats was able to help a ton by posting pages for the kittens in their "courtesy listings" section. The kittens remained in their foster home until today, when they were picked up by their (AWESOME and perfect-for-them-in-every-way) new humans. Tonight is their first night in their forever-home, and their Primary Human has already started sending me pictures.

...so, in other words, thank you folks-of-mefi so much for prodding me in the right direction and answering my question pretty darn exactly as far as pointing at local helpful rescue/home-finder groups went. I could not be happier with the outcome of all this.
posted by aecorwin at 11:06 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

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