Gia DeAscentis is an Youngstown, Ohio resident who also happens to run the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee.Her small organization is a home-based non-profit that specializes in caring for orphaned, special needs, and critical care neonatal kittens.Essentially, all that the rescue is focused on is making sure that kittens under 8 weeks of age have a fighting chance at finding their forever homes.
It sounds easy enough. Kittens are adorable, everyone likes them, and they are often highly sought after when it comes to cat adoptions. Surely, there isn’t much hard work for DeAscentis to do, right?Well, it might be a surprise, but kittens under the age of 8 weeks make up the most euthanized population in US shelters.
The reason for this shocking fact is because, between the months of late spring and early autumn, kitten season sees thousands of stray kittens ending up either on the streets or in shelters.
Those that are on the streets run the risk of death from so many factors, while the kittens that end up in shelters end up getting euthanized by the hundreds of thousands every year.
Beyond that, many shelters don’t always take on newborn kittens since they require round-the-clock care in order to survive – care that, sadly, many understaffed shelters can’t provide. But that is where the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee comes in.
They offer around-the-clock feeding and medical care to newborn kittens who are 4 weeks or younger. They also give them a warm and loving space to regain their strength. Every kitten that passes through must undergo 5-6 weeks of intensive care before it can be transferred to the main rescue.
Just last year, the organization helped to save the lives of 63 little kittens. DeAscentis wants to get more people involved in her passion project in order to be able to save even more kittens.
She shared with 33WYTV, “I’m going to be hosting a couple clinics and it’s still in the works, but teaching bottle basics.”
While the spring and summer months are the prime time for kitten season, if you do happen to stumble upon any really small kittens, DeAscentis has warned that the best thing you can do before intervening is to just wait and observe. She suggests waiting 3-4 hours before calling for help in order to give the mama cat a chance to return and care for her babies.