Second Chance: Should You Rescue Those Kittens? + Emergency Help Needed!

Second Chance: Should You Rescue Those Kittens? + Emergency Help Needed!

For 30 years, the Animal Resource Center and Shops of Second Chance Humane Society have been serving Ouray, San Miguel, and Montrose Counties. Our adoption hours are from Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. View shelter pets and services online Connecting Pets, People, and Community While Saving Lives.

View shelter pets and services online:

Donate here.

Go here for more options from Second Chance.

And please scroll down to read a special message. Help is needed.

Spring is when animals reproduce. And cats keep reproducing until the weather turns cold again. In the Telluride region, kitten season starts in early spring and lasts until fall.

What should you do if you find kittens?

First, try to determine their age. Kittens under two weeks old will still have their eyes closed or are just starting to open them. From about two to four weeks, eyes will be open, kittens will be alert and moving around more. From four to six weeks, they are mobile and talkative and might be eating solid food. All kittens under six weeks old are better with their mom. If you see a mother cat, leave the kittens where they are.

If you find kittens under six weeks old, and don’t immediately see their mother, don’t grab them just yet. Again a kitten’s best chance of survival is with the mom, who may be off hunting and/or may not come around if people are present. Watch for her to come back for a few hours. Leave a ring of flour around the kittens, then check for mom’s footprints in the flour. If you see her or evidence that she’s caring for the kittens, leave them in the best care possible. But you can help by providing shelter, food, and water. You can also work with Second Chance or another spay/neuter group to have mom and kittens spayed/neutered and vaccinated when they are ready. Kittens can be spayed and neutered as young as eight weeks of age if they are healthy and weigh at least two pounds.

If you have given the vigil some time and still don’t see evidence of a mother cat, you need to act quickly. Some of the most vulnerable kittens are those who do not have moms. Very young orphan kittens require around-the-clock care, including bottle-feeding. Their situation is very precarious. If you cannot provide this care, contact Second Chance or another local shelter or rescue.

We are prepared for orphans. But we want to make sure that kittens are truly abandoned or orphaned. Even a feral mom living outdoors is better suited to caring for her babies than people are.

Kittens over six weeks old are active, playful, fuzzy little bundles, who no longer need a mother’s constant care. These babies should be handled differently. If the kittens are healthy, friendly and social, utilize social media and your network to try to place them in homes. You can also email to ask if we have the space and resources to help.


Lee Lee is a sweet kitty who deserves all the love in the world! Sadly, she was declawed on her front paws, so she must be an indoor-only pet. LeeLee loves to be petted and just sit on your lap. She would love to chill and hang out with you while you go about your day.

AND… To continue the Second Chance Highlights section, we want to share the following:

We get by with a little help from our friends...

The Animal Resource Center is closed while we deal with an outbreak of ringworm. It’s infected fewer than 10 residents and so we are working diligently to prevent it from spreading further. Ringworm is a highly contagious, common fungal infection, especially in community cat colonies. In our shelter, the utmost caution is being taken to prevent the disease from spreading to any more cats and dogs and to heal those few who have it.

This has been an unexpected expense. We’re buying extra cleaning products to deep clean, as well as gowns, gloves, and PPE items.

If you’d like to help us through this challenging time, we would appreciate monetary donations:

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