Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Who in their right mind would foster?That's what I wonder sometimes.
I mean, seriously, here's the pitch we make (paraphrased):
"Please take this pet (or pets) into your home. Since they may be sick and carrying some kind of nasty disease, you have to keep them completely separated from your own pets, so just go ahead and block off a room in your house just for foster animals. You have the room, don't you? Now, since these are kittens/puppies/sick animals, they will, of course, stink it up frequently. That won't be a problem, will it?"
"Did you know kittens are nocturnal? That means you can be entertained by various objects being batted across the floor in the middle of the night, usually followed by the 'thud' from mid-air collisions. Don't be scared: there is no burgular ransacking your house. It's just kittens."
"The pet has regular appointments at the shelter for medical care or vaccinations, and you'll need to transport him since we can't. Our hours are probably not in sync with your schedule so this may even involve taking time off of work. Of course, if your foster pet gets critically sick, you may need to bring him to the shelter regardless of the time. What else did you have to do at 3 a.m.?"
"Sometimes, ill and underage pets die."
And if that isn't enough to run you off, we remind you to please plan on paying for all the food and litter.
Isn't this an insane volunteer position? Well, I think so, but somehow we have 188 foster families on file. (I confess: I am one, too.) All of them don't foster regularly, but have at least once.
In 2005, our foster parents have provided temporary care and shelter for over 1,500 animals. Most of these were underage kittens, waiting to reach eight weeks old, when they can safely be altered then live in the shelter awaiting adoption. These are lives saved.
Without foster homes, these kittens would not find a place in our county and would be killed.
Sometimes I get apologetic for even asking if the foster will another animal. But then, there are the fosters like Alison P., who had had to leave us with "her" kittens while she was out of town...but amazingly wanted them back when she returned. She really, really wanted to see them again. Imagine!
So, this Blog's for you, Foster Familes. All 188 of you.