We’d like to introduce you to Jessie, a very special OAS volunteer and kitten whisperer.
Though Jessie is “just” a teenager, she has already changed countless lives through her foster and volunteer work for OAS. Since May 2019, with support from her family, Jessie has been fostering homeless OAS kittens. As a young shelter volunteer, she started out doing non-animal handling chores like laundry while working around her school schedule. When our volunteer team saw her level of commitment, Jessie became a rabbit volunteer, providing care for the bunnies--cuddling, but also cleaning cages and feeding greens. On the first day of shelter-in-place, Jessie was one of the first in line to bring home both a foster rabbit and a foster cat! All of this on its own is heartwarming. But there is more to know about this amazing young woman.
Jessie has a lung disease that makes her eligible for a wish from Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area. Most Make-A-Wish children, who are all facing life-threatening medical conditions, make wishes like taking a trip to Disneyland, or meeting one of their sports idols. Amazingly, Jessie’s one special wish is a philanthropic one--to help kittens at OAS by hosting a “virtual kitten shower.” As part of her wish, Friends of Oakland Animal Services will also receive a $5,000 donation in Jessie’s honor from Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area!
Jessie’s generous wish will enable OAS to purchase much-needed items on our “kitten registry,” providing for all of the foster and medical care needs for our kittens as they get big and strong enough for adoption. We at FOAS are overwhelmed and inspired by Jessie’s incredible dedication and generosity--so much so, that we have committed to raising a matching $5,000 for Oakland’s kittens. Now, we need your help to meet this match for our dozens of kittens currently in foster care--and to make Jessie’s wish have double the impact for Oakland’s neediest animals.
The typical kitten arriving at OAS as a baby requires supplies like formula, bottles, kitten food, litter, a scale, and a carrier. They also need routine medical care including vaccines, flea prevention, medication for diarrhea and upper respiratory infections, and spay/neuter surgery. All told, each kitten in foster costs the shelter over $200, assuming they have no additional medical expenses.
Right now, OAS has 60 kittens in foster care, as this year’s unusually long “kitten season,” which began in the spring, is still in full force. Because shelter-in-place has impacted spay/neuter programs across the nation, the 2020 kitten season has no end in sight.
Jessie’s $5,000 wish come true, plus $5,000 from our FOAS community, means that we can continue to provide care for our city’s tiniest cats as these litters of bottle babies continue to arrive at our shelter doors.
Please help us continue to provide the love and care that every kitten deserves during this year of unprecedented need--and to celebrate Jessie’s dedication by meeting our challenge match goal of $5000. Your gift, no matter how small, will help make Jessie’s “virtual kitten shower” a truly life-changing event.
And on August 23, we’ll be celebrating live with a special baby shower broadcast from one of our shelter’s bi-weekly kitten adoption events! Jessie, FOAS, and Make-A-Wish representatives will join remotely as we livestream from the shelter, where our foster kittens who are ready for adoption will show off their cat-stuff and meet the families waiting to adopt a new best feline friend. Stay tuned to the OAS Facebook and Instagram feeds for details on how to join the party!