HELENA — For the first time since 2019, the Lewis and Clark Humane Society will return to in-person events with its "Kitten Shower Extravaganza."
The 'shower' formerly held a similar premise to a baby shower, where the community could donate various items to go to the nearly 400 kittens the shelter welcomes in on an average year. Now, the event operates more like a fundraiser with an online auction and an in-person event where families can tour the facility, meet some of the kittens and take home a stuffed animal with a recommended donation.
The shelter's Director of Development & Communications, Cassidy Cook, said while taking care of one kitten may not be a difficult task, taking care of hundreds is a bit more of a process.
"It's pretty crazy, and actually this year, we have already taken in twice the amount of kittens that we took in at this time last year," said Cook. "When we get a litter of kittens, particularly neo-nat kittens, which is under six weeks, or orphaned kittens, our priority is to get them into a home where they can be bottle-fed every couple of hours and be learned to be socialized and be taken care of an environment that is not the shelter."
Cook also noted medical care is a major part of the shelter's duties when taking care of the kittens.
"Sometimes the ones that we see are not in good shape. And so when they come in, there's a lot of medical care that's involved in getting them back to being healthy," said Cook. "A lot of times they're sick, sometimes injured. So there's just a lot of stewardship with that, that comes into making sure that they get the care that they need."
The in-person event associated with the "Kitten Shower Extravaganza" will start on June 16 at 5 p.m. at the Lewis and Clark Humane Society.