Professor gives hope to newborn kittens


Provided by Nancy Hancock

One of the newborn kittens. This young kitten fits in the palm of Hancock’s hand.

Of the many ways that students, faculty and staff are getting involved around the area, the cuddliest of ways has to be dedicating time to caring for and housing kittens as one professor has.

Nancy S. Hancock, an associate professor at NKU, does a lot more that educate students.

In 2011 she founded a nonprofit organization, dedicated solely to raising and housing orphaned kittens—Little Orphans Kitten Rescue.  

Hancock had always been involved with helping wildlife. So when she learned that there were not any shelters in the area to take care of kittens under six weeks of age and that many would euthanize young kittens upon arrival, she decided to do something about it.

“When a kitten is brought into the shelter that young they instantly get euthanized,” Hancock said. “At that age they have to be bottle-fed every hour. Shelters don’t have the staff to do that.”

Hancocks’ goal for Little Orphans Kitten Rescue is to one day have a kitten nursery, but as of right now, the organization is still in need of a building to use.

“We need to find a building space first, but [a kitten nursery] is definitely the long term goal,” Hancock said. “When we have a building space and when we get a good volunteer group and several shelters in the area helping, maybe we can start up a kitten nursery.”  

Hancock remembers vividly two young girls who found a kitten near their home, nearly two hours away, and begged their mother to bring the kitten to Hancock.

“They told their mom and begged her to call around until she found a place. It’s a two hour trip, both ways,” Hancock recalled. “They were in tears when they had to leave the kitten. I love to see people come to us. It means they care so much about these animals.”

Even Hancock’s students and colleagues have found ways to get involved.

“I’m happy to try supporting Dr. Hancock as much as I can,” one of Hancock’s students, senior Megan Beckerich said.  “I had my freshmen logic class with her, which is why I like knew about the thing [Little Orphans Kitten Rescue] and why, like, I adopted the two cats from her later on.”

Professor Kristina Vise has adopted kittens from Hancock.

“It’s nice that the kittens have a chance,” Vise said. “It’s very rewarding.”


Hancock said that one of the biggest setbacks she has faced with this project is cost, specifically the vet bills.

When kittens are placed in her care, she takes it to the vet for basic vaccines, to be spayed or neutered, to be microchipped and to be tested for feline leukemia and aids.  

“The vet bill for a healthy kitten is approximately $250 or more,” Hancock said. “A sick kitten can cost 10 times that amount.”  

Hancock says that one way people can help out is to use Amazonsmile when shopping online instead of just Amazon.  

“When you checkout on Amazonsmile you can choose an organization to help with your purchase,” Hancock said.

In doing this, one percent of your purchase will go towards funding Little Orphans Kitten Rescue.

“You can even register to donate with your Kroger card and it costs nothing,” Hancock said. “That’s how we get most of our funds.”

If any student organizations would like to be involved in a philanthropy and help out, Hancock says she’s open to the idea as well.

“Just let me know, we’ll get something going,” Hancock said.

Those who may wish to foster a kitten should contact Hancock and she’ll send an application to fill out and a link for necessary online classes, which can be completed in a few hours.

They would also need to get hands-on training from her in order to potentially go home that day with kittens. They must be willing to foster at least two.

If anybody is looking to adopt, simply contact Hancock for an application and be able to pay $100 when the kitten is old enough to be on their own.

“Do it, cause they’re adorable,” Vise said about students who wish to adopt. “Just make sure you pick the right one for you, cause it’s a life time commitment.”

To learn more about the organization, Hancock would like to encourage students to  like the organization’s facebook page—Little Orphans Kitten Rescue Inc.