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Memphis Animal Services :: Our March Nonprofit of the Month {2022}

You may be wondering how Memphis Animal Services, a shelter that was euthanizing 70% of the pets in its care 10 years ago, has come so far—how we got to a place where last year we SAVED 90% of the pets in our care. The answer can be summed up in one word: COMMUNITY.

Memphis Animal Services building with a man and dog out front

Just as pet overpopulation and animal cruelty do not start in the shelter, they cannot be resolved in the shelter. If we as Memphians want Memphis to be a place that’s kind to animals, then we ourselves have to participate in those solutions.

There are so many ways to do that:

  • Spaying & neutering our own pets (it’s the law!)
  • Microchipping and keeping current ID on our own pets
  • Checking shelters/rescues first before purchasing a pet
  • Fostering pets when you’re able for MAS or other shelters/rescues
  • Helping neighbors when they lose or find a pet
  • Volunteering at Memphis Animal Services or another agency
  • Utilizing community resources to keep or rehome your pet before surrendering to a shelter

Right now we’re in the middle of March, and we at Memphis Animal Services know this time to be right in the thick of kitten season.

What’s kitten season? It’s the time of year, usually spring and summer, that orphaned kittens from newborn to “toddler” show up to shelters by the dozens. We need your help caring for them.


When newborn kittens are orphaned, they need round-the-clock care in the form of:

  • Bottle-feeding
  • Stimulating pee & poop
  • Sometimes they also need help regulating their body temperature

foster kitten being bottle fed

Since neonates require care every 2-5 hours, great foster caregivers for them are often:

  • Remote employees
  • Stay-at-home parents (with kids big enough/interested in helping)
  • Retirees

kids helping bottle feed foster kittens from Memphis Animal Services


Once newborns get to about 6-8 weeks old, they start to be able to eat on their own. At that point, they often graduate from a bottle foster to a general kitten foster. They’re not big enough to be spayed or neutered yet, so they can’t have a finalized adoption, but we also want their fragile immune systems to avoid shelter germs. That’s where a foster home comes in. Toddler kitten fosters jobs are:

  • Make sure they’re eating enough and regularly
  • Socialize them by picking up, cuddling, playing, etc.
  • Keep an eye on litter boxes to make sure everything’s normal
  • Once they’re old enough, either field adoption inquiries and place into adoptive homes OR bring to Memphis Animal Services or an adoption event to get adopted

kids with bigger FOSTER cats


The best-case scenario for a newborn kitten is to stay with Mom. For those kittens lucky enough to still have Mom, we really like to provide a quiet, calm place for her to nurse and raise her babies in the form of a foster home. This is a great option for busy families because Mom does all the work for the babies—you just take care of her! If you have a quiet extra bathroom or guest room, that’s a great place to give Mom and family their own space.

mom and babies at Memphis Animal Services

Do you think your family would be a great feline foster fit? Or do you want to learn more about our many dog foster opportunities? There are a few ways to learn more and take the next steps:

  • Go to our I Want to Foster page on our website
  • Watch our “Take Me Home Thursday” Instagram Live @adoptmas every Thursday morning at 10:30am
  • Come to the shelter at 2350 Appling City Cove daily from 12-4pm
  • Email if you have any questions

The Memphis Mom Collective features a nonprofit organization every month. If you know of a nonprofit that is making a difference here in Memphis, we want to know about it! Let us know by nominating them here.

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