Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Being a Foster Home

Because Cares4pets is a foster-home based rescue group, we don't keep our animals in a central shelter. Every now and again, we need to kennel a dog for a few days until we find it somewhere appropriate to go, but for the most part, all of our critters are in loving homes. It's really easy to take something like this for granted, but it takes a lot of time and effort to place animals in appropriate foster homes and to keep them there. In addition, fostering is a ton of work for the foster home too; teaching a dog or cat basic manners while learning about their personalities can be a daunting task, especially when one is not looking to adopt their foster animal.

Although each of us running Cares4pets can share our foster stories, it's hard for us to remember our first overwhelming foster experience. However, one of our foster homes just started a blog to share their first fostering experience with the world. It can be found here: Foster Home Blog. As all of us who have fostered animals know, the true reward from being a foster home comes when your animal finally gets to his/her forever home and settles there. Brutus, the first foster dog for FosterDogMom, just went to his forever home last weekend. In the next few weeks, we'll get pictures and updates from his new home to share with his temporary foster home. Already, FosterDogMom is gearing up for foster number two. For all the trials and tribulations, she and her family will be back for more!

On the other hand, running a foster home-based rescue group is hard for us as well. We are constantly on the lookout for foster homes, especially homes interested and willing to take on large dogs, pit mixes, cats, and special needs (medical or behavior) critters. Quite often, we find a great foster home, only to have them "fail out" of our foster program, meaning that instead of fostering, they end up falling in love and adopting the animal. That's wonderful for them, the animal, and us, but it also means that we are forever on the lookout for more foster homes.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in fostering for our group, we would love to speak with you! Please send us an email, and we'll give you more information and answer any questions you might have!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


In just one afternoon, we managed to acquire 6 puppies (5 girls and one boy) and 3 kittens. It's always a "mistake" to look around when we're helping out at local shelters, and last weekend was no exception. Shana was heading to the shelter to help with spays and neuters, so I asked her to take a quick look around to see if there were any cats or kittens in desperate need of foster, either because they were medical cases that needed treatment or because they were too young to stay in the shelter without getting sick. Shana asked one of the volunteers at the shelter, and it all went downhill from there. The conversation went something like this...

Natalie: If you see a cat that needs a foster home, let me know, since I currently don't have any foster cats.

Shana: They just told me that they need a foster home for two kittens; are you game to take two?

So I arrived at the shelter ready to take home two kittens, only to look in the cage to see that there were in fact three. And so, it's no surprise that instead of taking home one cat to transfer to Cares4pets, we ended up taking three.

The puppies were another story... We all know better than to walk through the shelter when we visit, knowing that something will catch our eye. The last time we visited, we left with a sheltie and two american bulldog mixes after promising ourselves that we wouldn't take anything home.

And so, since we have more than enough dogs in our program currently, Shana avoided the adoption rows. However, as she walking out the front door, she almost ran into a big tupperware bin with holes poked in the top. She opened it up to find a litter of adorable puppies inside. No note, no information, just a tupperware bin full of puppies.

And thus, in a matter of hours, we found ourselves with 9 more critters in need of homes. All in a good days work...