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Rescue opens city’s 1st nursery for orphaned newborn kittens

Esther Neonatal Kitten Alliance

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — Esther Neonatal Kitten Alliance, a local nonprofit animal rescue, has opened Asheville’s first nursery dedicated to orphaned newborn kittens.

Located at 21 Pond Street, the nursery has been designed to provide intensive around-the-clock care to the youngest, sickest, and most injured orphaned newborn kittens who need incubators, supplemental oxygen, tube feeding, or other specialized care in order to survive.

The Kitten Alliance isn’t an adoption agency but does transfer fully weaned bottle-fed kittens, around 6-7 weeks old, to partner organizations that then adopt them out.

The system helps take pressure off organizations ill-equipped with the time, training, and tools to raise these newborn kittens, or neonates. It also allows the kitten alliance to focus solely on the very youngest and most vulnerable kittens.

One of the nursery’s first guests this year was 2-week old kitten named Cooper who appears to have cerebellar hypoplasia, a neurological condition that hinders his ability to hold his head and body steady.

“The rest of the kittens in Cooper’s litter are more than double his size,” said Andee Bingham, executive director at the Kitten Alliance. “He wasn’t strong enough to latch well and hold his own at mama’s milk bar, so the other kittens were pushing him out of the way. The rest of his family is now in one of our loving foster homes, but we kept Cooper in our nursery where he’s lounging in a cozy incubator and being bottle-fed meals every 3 hours.”

The Kitten Alliance partners with animal rescues throughout the region to save the littlest lives, including organizations located in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, McDowell, Rutherford, Transylvania, Jackson, Haywood, Yancey, Burke, Catawba, and Stanly counties, as well as a few counties in South Carolina.

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