SALUTE OUR HEROES: A Purrrfect Pair--Junction City Couple Fosters Kittens

More than 165 cats in 5 years
Junction City couple foster kittens
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 12:29 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Unsheltered kittens and cats find a temporary home in the hearts and house of one Geary County couple. 13′s Jared Broyles introduces us to tonight’s “Salute Our Heroes” who serve as feline foster parents for the Junction City Animal Shelter.

“Foster homes play a huge role in socializing, healing, and anything that we’re really needing for the animals to have success in the future,” Junction City Animal Shelter director Vanessa Gray explained.

“We just love it. We always have kittens,” Chantal Hartung told us from the shelter’s office.

She and her husband Mark Hartung are foster pet parents. A Facebook post alerted us to the work the Hartungs quietly do: caring for cats and kittens that aren’t their own.

Director Vanessa Gray says they recently celebrated their 5th anniversary with the Junction City Animal Shelter--caring for many more than 165 felines.

“With volunteering or fostering,” Gray said, “that is very unique when it comes to having somebody stay that long and work that hard for an animal shelter.”

Fostering is a purrrfect fit for Chantal’s passion.

“There’s a huge need for it because a lot of the kittens,” she reflected. “Just for example, ringworm, a lot of the shelters would euthanize kittens for ringworm because it’s at least a 5-week treatment, and they don’t have the space or resources. It’s sad. So, I’m pretty proud to be affiliated with a shelter that goes out of its way to help those that a lot of other shelters can’t help.”

Chantal says it’s hard to let them go.

“I cry every time they leave, but I know there’s going to be more, and if I don’t do it, then I don’t know who else is going to do it.”

Learn more about volunteering with the Junction City Animal Shelter, or find your next furry friend by visiting them at 2424 North Jackson Street in Junction City. They’re open every day except Wednesday from 1 PM to 6 PM.