Jenny Sersion has transformed her life through The Little Lion Foundation, learning about and caring for the immense population of homeless kittens in our community.
By Gina V. Ramsey
Late one night while scrolling through her Facebook account, studio manager Jenny Sersion came across an ‘urgent call’ from two local organizations she follows. The Little Lion Foundation and the Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS) were seeking help for a feral cat and her kittens scheduled to be euthanized the following day.
“I found that I just couldn’t keep scrolling past,” Sersion said. “I commented that I could foster them. The next day someone from LBACS dropped [the cats] off at my house…and as they say, the rest is history. Luckily my husband is a cat lover….it was such a spur of the moment decision that I hadn’t even asked him.”
Sersion, who already had 3 cats, ended up adopting one of the kittens and her best friend adopted another.
Why Does Long Beach Need The Little Lion Foundation?
The Little Lion Foundation, the first of its kind in Long Beach, is a rescue organization that focuses on orphaned and abandoned kittens, including special needs ‘discarded’ kittens. Started in 2016, The Little Lion Foundation is an ‘all-volunteer’ based team dedicated to saving the lives of kittens under 8 weeks old that are in need of a loving home. According to their website, most kittens under 8 weeks of age are euthanized at a shelter, some on the same day they arrive. The Little Lion Foundation’s mission is to save as many kittens’ lives as
possible by treating them with services in preparation for adoption, such as vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, microchipping and deworming, among other necessary health needs.
Even though Sersion had heard of the Foundation from a friend who had fostered kittens through a different shelter, she didn’t realize the immense need for foster volunteers for baby cats. “I really had no idea until I got more involved.”
One of the projects Sersion got immersed in was The Foundation’s Kitten Prevention Program, where they practice something called TNR (trap/neuter/return). Volunteers work closely with communities in Long Beach that feed feral cat colonies, and homeowners who have and/or feed cats on their property yet may not have the means or resources to get them
all spayed or neutered to stop the kitten cycle. Sersion and other volunteers trap the cats and kittens for spay or neuter surgery before they are returned to their homes.
“We have really gotten a good response [from homeowners and feral cat feeders],” Sersion said. “They just need the resources which are lacking. Since we live in [Southern California] we have ‘kitten season’ all year round and a female cat can give birth 3-4 times a year, with 4-5 kittens per litter…. that is a lot of unwanted kittens suffering on the streets! We try to help as many as we can, but unfortunately, there are just too many.”
The True Impact of Kitty Love
Fostering kittens has impacted Sersion in so many ways that aside from being a volunteer foster, she has also become a board member with The Little Lion Foundation, where she has been involved for over 4 years, almost since the beginning of the organization. Her focus has
shifted into fostering the ‘sick’ and injured kittens, such as those that may need an amputation or other surgeries.
“I love taking care of the kittens that need extra care,” Sersion said. “You can really see how your care impacts their lives for the better. And I’ve realized that these ‘special needs’ kittens live perfectly happy lives and get around just fine.”
Being part of The Little Lion Foundation as a foster for trauma kitties and volunteer team member for several of their adoption events and other programs has become such a positive influence in Sersion’s life.
“I find myself a better person for caring so deeply about something, and volunteering my time to a great organization,” Sersion said. “I love being with The Little Lion Foundation. They are always supportive.”
Sersion’s work with The Little Lion Foundation is helping give kittens a chance to bring joy to loving responsible families, ‘because every cat deserves to roar.’
Since 2016, The Little Lion Foundation has worked toward making the world a better place for neonatal and underaged kittens. We have made it our mission to stop the needless euthanasia of our kittens in the shelter system. Learn more at LittleLionFoundation.org.