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Teeny tiny furry ‘bottle babies’ will melt your heart — and they need your help

A sudden wave of motherless kittens has prompted a call for human foster parents to bottle feed them. 

“When we get little babies that have been separated from their mothers, then we fill in as the mothers,” said Brian Weltge, the president and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. 

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A newborn kitten named Lily drinks a special formula made for kittens. The motherless kitten was found by a Dayton police officer is being fostered by Brian Weltge, the president and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. LISA POWELL / STAFF

“We feed the babies with little bottles or syringes full of formula made just for kittens. The kittens that are on formula are called ‘bottle babies’.” 

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The organization provides foster training and pairs volunteers with mentors who are also caring for bottle baby kittens. Formula and supplies, crates and bedding, and medical care are all provided by the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. 

A bottle baby foster parent usually commits to between one and three weeks depending on the age of the kitten. Potential volunteers should also be aware that very young kittens require formula every three hours depending on their age and appetite. 

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“It takes a little practice but there’s no secret,” Weltge said. Some of them learn to suck on a bottle very quickly and some of them don’t. The mentors will work with you one-on-one so you learn the ins and outs of proper bottle feeding.” 

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton needs humans to foster young animals including "bottle babies," motherless young kittens. Penelope is 2 1/2 weeks old and was found in a Dumpster. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Weltge is currently caring for a bottle baby kitten he calls Lily who was found by a Dayton police officer. He said there is also a critical need for emergency foster parents who can care for animals for 24 to 48 hours. 

“Sometimes little kittens like this come in the middle of the night and there’s no place to take them,” Weltge said. “It would be wonderful to have a group of people that can intervene for a very short period of time so we can stabilize the animals and then get them into a normal foster.” 

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If caring for a bottle baby kitten is a bigger responsibility than desired, the Humane Society of Greater Dayton is flexible with volunteer time and commitment and also has older kittens, puppies and rabbits in need of foster care. 

“We feed the babies with little bottles or syringes full of formula made just for kittens," said Brian Weltge, the president and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. "The kittens that are on formula are called ‘bottle babies’.” LISA POWELL / STAFF

“It’s super rewarding to see something that comes in completely helpless without a Mom, unable to feed and care for itself, and with a little tender loving care and some time, you transform and save a little life that then becomes a beautiful pet for someone,” Weltge said. 

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT FOSTERING AN ANIMAL? 

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton has more information on their website, www.hsdayton.org/foster

For more information: (937) 262-5937 or foster@hsdayton.org

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