Savannah women giving smallest kittens a fighting chance

From bottle feeding to foster & even hands on rescue, three local women are saving kittens lives, but need help
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 2:03 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Three cat lovers in Savannah have joined forces to help save the lives of kittens who can’t fend for themselves.

For these volunteers, it’s a full-time job they love but say they can’t do alone.

“You know, even the shelters and stuff, newborn kittens get euthanized because there’s just not someone there who can take care of them around the clock,” said local veterinarian Gayl Manley.

It’s a sad reality that a couple of local women are hoping to end.

“I like to call myself a crazy cat lady, she prefers not,” joked Stacy Davis.

“I’m just a cat lady, I’m not crazy,” laughed Katy Cohen.

Davis and Cohen are just about inseparable, “cat people stick together,” Davis says.

Although Cohen doesn’t classify herself as a crazy cat lady, she has long had an affinity for felines.

“I’ve always been a cat lover. Since I could walk, I’ve been picking up stray animals.”

As for Davis, she says those puppy dog or, well, kitty cat eyes worked on her.

“So of course, I started taking them home.”

Taking them home and more importantly helping those kittens who couldn’t help themselves.

“We started a program called, The Bottle Baby Brigade,’” said Cohen.

Bottle feeding the kittens who can’t yet handle solid food.

Which as Manley explains isn’t as simple as it sounds.

“It’s not easy because when you’re bottle feeding babies it’s an around the clock job. It’s getting up in the middle of the night, it’s not just one kitten, it’s usually three or four because that’s a common litter size.”

Which is what makes it tough to find people like Davis and Cohen who are willing to do it.

When the word out they started getting calls from all over to care for kittens.

Most recently, some found in an abandoned warehouse in Savannah.

“We went and picked them up, she took them home, got them to Gayl, and now they’re running around here fat and happy…spoiled,” Davis recalled.

As for Manley, she started by helping occasionally with intake exams but quickly expanded to a more hands on role including helping free a cat from a skid steer earlier this month.

“You know, veterinary medicine is one of those things where you never know where you’re going to wind up. I will tell you that every vet has some sort of crazy story that has some sort of shenanigans.”

While these three women are doing their best, alongside One Love Animal Rescue, they fear it’s still not enough.

“The people right now that are feeding bottle babies are just a handful. If we could get more people interested, we could save them, not all, but we could save a lot more of them,” said Davis.

They say despite the long hours, random calls, and seemingly uphill battle, watching these kittens get a second chance at life…is more than worth it.

“It just makes it so worthwhile to see how happy they are in their new homes and thriving and doing well,” Cohen says.

“It’s amazing how many you can save, no matter what shape they’re in. If you do the correct things, they make it, and it’s amazing,” added Davis.

If you’d like to help out with foster, bottle feeding or more click here.

To follow along with the stories of the kittens they help rescue click here.