Saving Neonatal Kittens

August 2012 by Ellen Jefferson, DVM

Audience: Executive Leadership, Foster Caregivers, Public, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team

Video Length: 17 minutes

Austin Pets Alive's Bottle Baby Program saves over 1,000 kittens per year that would otherwise be euthanized due to the high needs of orphaned baby kittens. The program began by mimicking an open admission wildlife center's nursery, with no start-up funding and only a handful of volunteers. This presentation from the 2012 Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Conference at the University of Florida is given by Dr. Ellen Jefferson, Veterinarian and Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive. Since its initial inception, the Bottle Baby Program has grown to ensure that every underage kitten that enters the open admission city shelter is saved.

Learning objectives:

  • Discover how to cultivate a volunteer team for emergency transport, feeding, medical care and fostering of neonates
  • Learn how Austin Pets Alive treats common medical problems of neonates in a nursery setting
  • Understand how to leverage your staff, volunteers and foster homes to divide and conquer the immense time commitment these babies require

After viewing the presentation, click here to take the quiz and receive a Certificate of Attendance!

About Dr. Ellen Jefferson, DVM

Dr. Jefferson is a leader in Austin's No-Kill effort. She joined Austin Pets Alive as Executive Director in 2008 and began applying best practices in efficiency and operations to resolve Austin's previously high euthanasia rate. Within the first year of her leadership, Austin Pets Alive reduced euthanasia in Austin by more than 20%, and in 2011, Austin reached a 91% save rate. She founded EmanciPET in 1999 and has been its Director for nine years. Before that she worked nights as an emergency room veterinarian, volunteering during the daytime at the local animal shelter. She graduated from Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997.

Since 2008, Dr. Jefferson has been the Mayor's appointee to Austin's Animal Advisory Commission, and in 2009 she was a finalist for the Austin Under Forty Awards. She also served on the Nation Spay/Neuter Task Force from 2007-2009 and has had work published in the peer-reviewed veterinary literature.

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