A Second Chance: 60 Kittens Saved From Death Row; 13 to CT

Thirteen little kittens have a lot to purr about in Newtown.

They’re the latest arrivals to Kitten Associates, a nonprofit home-based animal rescue. Now in their seventh year running, founder Robin Olson and her network of volunteers have saved nearly 500 cats from Connecticut and beyond.

“We always want to help our local cats first, but if somebody somewhere else needs a hand, I’m going to give it to them,” Olson said.

That’s just what happened when Robin’s phone rang last Sunday. A Tennessee shelter was beyond capacity due to overcrowding, and 60 kittens were scheduled to be euthanized on Monday morning. Olson sprang into action, coordinating with other rescue groups to get all 60 felines off of “death row” and into safe shelters. After receiving veterinary care, 13 of them made the long journey north to Connecticut, arriving Thursday night.


The American Humane Society estimates between 3 and 4 million animals are euthanized in shelters across the country every year. Olson says higher death rates tend to appear in areas of the country with warmer year-round weather and less spay and neuter resources. Many shelters and rescues in the Northeast regularly make room for transports.

“It’s just this humungous never-ending population explosion,” Olson said, “and the resources they have can’t keep up with the demand no matter what they do.”

Outside of larger animal shelters and municipal pounds, Olson estimates there are several hundred animal rescues in Connecticut working together to save lives, “and they all specialize in different things. That person will take special needs cats, that person will take feline leukemia cats, that person knows all this about neonatal kittens. So we all share resources because there’s nobody out there that can do everything.”

The 13 Tennessee kittens are settling in nicely in Newtown, where they’re currently awaiting their spay and neuter surgeries to get them ready to be adopted by Clear The Shelters day on August 19. Their adoption fees will cover the surgeries along with testing, vaccinations, screenings, microchips and two months of pet insurance included.


Kitten Associates’ adoption process includes a pre-adoption application followed by an in-home visit which includes an assessment for hazards like poisonous plants, and a veterinary reference. Click here to learn more and fill out an application ahead of Clear The Shelters day.


If you can’t adopt but would still like to help Kitten Associates, the rescue has several outstanding needs:

  • Cat and kitten food
  • Volunteers to come socialize and play with the kittens
  • Monetary donations to assist with veterinary care


The “Tennessee 13” kittens are called the “Sweet Superheroes” for surviving the odds. NBC Connecticut viewers will have the honor of naming one kitten and following his journey to adoption! To submit your name idea (a superhero theme is encouraged) click here and check back here for progress updates.

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