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To Foster, or not to Foster?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
That is the question...

After reading about the absolutely amazing work many of you do with fosters , I've started getting this strong desire to pitch in and do my share.

However, not only have I NEVER fostered before, but Evie is my very first cat! Can anyone tell me if I should maybe not try it, seeing as how I have probably the least amount of experience possible? I think my dog would make a better kitty foster meowmy than me!

If it's still something you all think I can consider, can anyone give me an idea what I'd be getting myself in to? There are tons of shelters around here I've already looked in to, and know I can get more info from, just before I get their hopes up, I want to speak to the all-knowing TCS members! Honestly, I'm mainly interested in the cons to fostering, since the shelters are already happily sharing the pros! Any concerns I might have with Evie- not getting along, or maybe bonding too quickly and being heartbroken when they leave?

Anyway, I wasn't going to post at all tonight, it's so late! TCS is just too addicting! So I'm off to bed now, but look forwarding to reading your words of wisdom in the morning! And I did try to search for this topic. I didn't see any threads, but I am way more asleep than awake, so I apologize if this is answered somewhere else!

Happy Easter all!!!

PS- I couldn't decide to put this under the care or rescue section, or here. If it's better elsewhere, could a mod please move it? Much obliged! Thanks!
post #2 of 3
Good on you for considering it - when I started fostering, I had only had a few cats, so was very inexperienced - but being a member of here will help dramatically in that. Also, helping a shelter where you will have a good mentor would be good for you. As for your concerns over the effect on Evie - you need to have a separate room, some rescues in the UK dont allow any mixing of fosters and resident cats, others dont, so that would really depend on the shelter. It is very advisable to be able to separate either for illness, or in case you get a cat that hates other cats (I have had a few of those). I always isolate for 2 weeks in case of worms, fleas, or cat flu. Some of the other downsides are it can be hard to let them go (I dont have that problem, I have it in my mind that they are only here temporarily until that perfect home can be found, it is harder when they are fully integrated though), if you get sickly animals, you could end up having to deal with loss more than you would like to, and you have to be willing to put the time in, especially when they are isolated, I like to spend at least an hour a day, excluding meal times and litter tray cleaning, with each foster, as they are in a room of their own. Cant think of anything more at teh mo
post #3 of 3
The positive side: You are helping a homeless pet find a permanent home.

The down side: Might be a time commitment that you may not be able to support. The shelter that I fostered for had their adoption clinics on the weekends. A pet that is not seen is usually not adopted very quickly. I had to drop the fosters at the adoption center every Saturday and Sunday early in the day then pick them up again at the end of the day. It was a 40 minute drive round trip plus time to get them in and out of cages, etc, so it came to about 2 hours each day. Not that it seems like much, but since I work full time and weekends are the times when I take care of personal things, including cleaning up after my large brood, it infringed on my ability to take care of my own.

I gave up fostering and turned my attention to fund raising for them with the occassional TNR support. I could do it on my schedule and still felt like I contributed.
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