Fostering a Pet | Interview With Fosterers
We recently wrote a blog post all about fostering pets and we got a fantastic response from all of you! Because of this, we wanted to find out more about what it is like to be a fantastic friend to the animals. So, we reached out to 3 local superstar fosterers - Emma, Kayleigh and Karen - and asked them exactly what it is like to foster pets! Here is what they had to say...
How long have you been fostering & how did you get into it?
Emma: About 6 months. I volunteer for a local pet rescue and they decided it was better to put their pregnant cats into Foster homes to socialise the kittens better. I had a spare room and took on my first pregnant Foster 6 months ago.
Kayleigh: My parents took in animals when I was a child so I have always fostered really!
Karen: I’ve been fostering mainly mums & kittens for around 10 years. I got into it after adopting two cats from Celia Hammond.
What 3 things should someone know before they consider becoming a fosterer?
Emma: It's totally different to owning a pet. Most fosters need time to adjust due to their history. Every cat is different so behavioural knowledge is beneficial to ensure the cats are thriving. In between fosters the room will need an intense cleaning so being aware of health and disease in animals helps a lot. I have found myself doing training courses alongside prioritising my time with the fosters to make sure I have as much knowledge as possible. For example I had never had kittens born in my house so this was very new to me so I needed to ensure that I knew what was normal and what wasn't to address any health concerns immediately.
Kayleigh: To become a Fosterer you need to be prepared for a lot of extra work, sleepless nights and heartache but it’s all so worth it!
Karen: 1. It’s a time consuming job. You need to ensure they are socialised and happy family pets ready to rehome 2. Sometimes quite smelly if cats have illnesses and diarrhoea. You'll need a spare room ideally 3. You need to love each cat as your own but be able to let go and move on without too much upset.
A kitten of a foster cat that was hand-reared by Emma.
What was the biggest challenge for you with fostering?
Emma: Prioritising my time between my family and my own pets whilst making sure the fosters are socialised and healthy enough to go to their new homes. Saying goodbye was also difficult.
Kayleigh: The biggest challenge is always when they go to the new homes you don’t stop worrying about them even when they are gone!
Karen: Sashy came to us as an emergency one Christmas Eve. She had a collar wound and needed immediate treatment. We fell in love with her and were sad to see her leave for her forever home. However the new family gave up on her and she finished her retirement with us.
Is there 1 animal that has stayed with you more than others?
Emma: I always foster cats as this is where my knowledge base is but I am looking to progress further as time goes on.
Kayleigh: I fostered a dog called Buster who had been starved it was amazing he even survived and will stay in our hearts forever
Karen: We fostered a cat named Amy, nicknamed Roadkill as she was in such a poor state. We were only expected to have her 2/3 months but she was with us for just over a year. She was such a character and still remembered by all our friends and family.
A huge thank you to these lovely ladies for taking the time to chat with us! Have you ever fostered a pet or is it something you would like to do? Let us know in the comments! If you'd like to learn more about pet fostering, visit the Blue Cross here.