The Jacksonville Kitten Crisis


Jacksonville’s animal shelters are battling a kitten crisis and asking for the public’s help. From January 1 to June 4, 2019, both shelters in Jacksonville – the Jacksonville Humane Society (JHS) and Animal Care & Protective Services (ACPS) – have received 2,078 underage kittens. The last six weeks have been particularly challenging, as JHS alone received 780 kittens in the last six weeks. This is 153 more than the same timeframe last year.


Both JHS and ACPS are asking the public to continue following “Don’t KitNap” protocol for kittens in our community. The steps are as follows:

  1. Find kittens? Stop! Look for mother cat.
  2. No mom? Do you have to take them? Don’t go to the shelter!
  3. Temporarily care for kittens in your home or find someone who can.
  4. At 8-10 weeks, kittens can be spayed/neutered and go to new homes!

The “Don’t KitNap” campaign was modeled after a similar program from Arizona Humane Society. During the first year, the Arizona Humane Society saw a 20% reduction in kitten numbers during their first year of the program.

“Many people think that shelters are the best option for baby kittens, but the truth is that the best solution is for them to stay with mom or in a private home,” said Denise Deisler, JHS CEO. “Kittens in the shelter are too fragile to stay overnight and are at-risk for disease and infection. We know that anyone who finds a kitten and brings it to our doors is doing so because they care. We want to help them understand the alternatives and benefits of keeping kittens out of shelters.”

Concerned citizens can also help shelters by sharing the “Don’t KitNap” message with friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and communities. The Jacksonville Humane Society website has digital toolkit with flyers for printing and images to share on social media using the hashtag #DontKitNapJax.

For more information on the “Don’t KitNap” movement and Jacksonville’s kitten crisis, please visit