HCN News & Notes

Local Couple Pledges to Match Items Purchased to Stock Shelves of Nick’s Nursery at Dakin

SPRINGFIELD — Nick’s Nursery, New England’s only kitten intensive-care unit, located at Dakin Humane Society in Springfield, is about to launch its sixth season in operation, and a local couple is helping to ensure the nursery will be well-stocked with much-needed supplies.

Jan and Bernadette Piepul of Springfield, founding donors of Nick’s Nursery, have pledged to match donations for the nursery through June 28, according to Carmine DiCenso, Dakin’s executive director. The nursery is seasonal, running all summer and into the fall as needed. It offers medical treatment and socialization to underage and often orphan kittens.

People interested in making a donation to Nick’s Nursery are asked to visit Dakin’s Orphan Baby Wish List on Amazon by clicking here. Items can be purchased directly online, as shipping instructions are pre-set to Dakin’s address. People who prefer to shop locally can visit the list to see what specific items are needed and buy them from the vendor of their choice. Most requested items from that list include pet food and formula, feeding syringes, and other must-haves. 

In its first season in 2014, Nick’s Nursery served 198 at-risk kittens. Each successive season has seen more patients brought to the nursery, and last summer the 1,000th patient was treated. The summer and fall months mean a sharp spike in the kitten population in New England, as warmer weather generates more breeding cycles for cats.

Nick’s Nursery was named in honor of Nicholas Piepul, a kitten who was set on fire in Springfield nine years ago. When the badly burned kitten was in a shelter recovering from his injuries, Jan and Bernadette Piepul met him and, following his recovery, adopted him. He is now a healthy adult cat.