New Orleans, La. – Kittens in high-risk animal shelters in Louisiana and Mississippi will soon be heading for a happy new life thanks to a partnership between New Orleans animal welfare organization SpayMart and three Florida shelters.

“While great strides have been made in cat lifesaving in many areas, we are still struggling here in the Deep South,” said SpayMart President and Founder Lynn Chiche. “Kitten season here is long, and adoption organizations can’t handle the numbers.  We are grateful for organizations like these that are working to lighten that burden.”

The rescue is a collaborative effort between SpayMart and Cat Depot in Sarasota, Fla., Naples Humane Society in Naples, Fla., and Rescue Cats of Florida in the greater Tampa area.

The kittens come from Pearl River Animal Shelter in Picayune, Miss., which saves only 44 percent of the cats it takes in, and Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter in New Orleans. SpayMart’s kitten foster program accounted for fully 25 percent of the New Orleans shelter’s live feline outcomes in 2020.

SpayMart also takes in adult shelter cats with urgent medical needs. Thomas is one such cat. He had a gaping, infected wound on his neck that required costly surgical repair, paid for by SpayMart’s Felicity Fund. He’s now one of the cats heading to sunny Sarasota thanks to this partnership.

The effort will soon be expanding to include puppies and dogs as well. “SpayMart is launching an initiative to transport small breed dogs and puppies from rural Mississippi to eight nonprofit no-kill shelters in Florida,” Chiche said.

“We are excited to welcome Thomas and all the others to our adoption center to give them an opportunity to live a wonderful life,” said Jennifer Bitner, Cat Depot’s Executive Director. “None of these cats deserves to be euthanized, and collaborative partnerships like this one truly make a difference.”

About SpayMart

SpayMart is a registered 501(c)3 public charity founded in 1998. It saves and enhances the lives of animals in the Greater New Orleans area and southeast Louisiana through programs directed at education, adoption, foster, rescue, and affordable spay/neuter. For more information, visit