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Fostering Question (kind of long)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
A no-kill shelter about 30 miles from me took two litters I fostered after I raised them from three weeks old. I decided to foster for this shelter.

First job was three 6-week olds boys who had terrible diahhrea and needed meds. Someone messed up and wrote the wrong dose on the bottle (10x the correct amount). The kits acted like I'd given them acid and when I called to talk the the vet, he yelled at me for giving them that dose. Even when I explained, he was terse and rude. I chalked it up to him being overwhelmed but was really upset when he said I could have caused neurological damage to the kits.

Anyway, it took three weeks but they were soon gaining weight. In fact, when I took them to get their first shots, they weighed enough for the shelter to take over. I was a bit taken aback, as I hadn't expected that and felt really bummed to realize they were staying. BUT - I knew they'd be adoped, so OK.

However, while I was waiting for the vet tec to take them, one of the other workers came in and began treating me quite rudely. "Whose kittens are these? Where did they come from? Why are you bringing them in now - they look too small, etc." All directed at me rapid fire with little time for me to respond. Did not help my bummed mood. Even after it was clear that these WERE THEIR KITTENS, she kept the attitude.

My husband told me he wouldn't mind if I didn't foster for them but I really enjoy it, so I had to think about it.

Meantime, I was referred to a local rescue group who needed fosters and who would also do the adoptions. I was greeted with open arms. Their trapper is trapping this weekend and if she catches anyone, she will call me and deliver the kittens to me. (I have to drive the 30 miles to the shelter).

The problem is, the shelter now has two litters that need fostering. I'm feeling kind of guilty and guess I need a pep talk. Am I wrong not to want to foster for them any more? I talked to the volunteer coordinator and she basically said that the workers see such bad things, they can't help their attitudes. Can't buy that but still feel guilty. I can't do both, as we only have one room available.
post #2 of 7
No shelter should treat their volunteers like that. We tell staff constantly to thank volunteers for helping, even if it is just them dropping off a cat at the vet on their way home.

We often get that 'oh here we go' feeling when we see someone approaching with animals but are always polite until we find out why they are here. They may be foster parents, vets or vet techs who offered to drop off animals for us, someone who picked them up stray or of course someone dumping them on us but we don't know that until we speak to them.

I wouldn't care why she did it, if I am giving up my free time to help them, they can at least be polite. Now I have been at the shelter for a while and occasionally people do unload at me, but i know they choose me because I understand where they are coming from but if they did it to someone newer they would be in a lot of trouble.

Either way, you are helping kittens - no matter which group you do it for. My guess is you will burn out a lot quicker doing it where you get hassled and no thanks for it and be put off forever than somewhere that needs and appreciates you.
post #3 of 7
Oh, wow! Your situation sounds a LOT like mine!

I'll go back after this post and find some old threads of mine.

Same things: foster group gave me bad info, cause troubles (for me, they told me my mommy cat was not feral, and she was. VERY. So she got out. They yelled and screamed and abused me, made me cry for two days straight because of it, even though we caught her again.)

Then, same thing!! Because mommy was feral, or maybe not because of it, but also, she was a bad mommy. Wouldn't feed or clean the kits. So I had to. They were very, very small (barely over 1 lb at 2 months). I brought them to the vets ON MY OWN, and asked here, and every one said as long as they are energetic (oh, VERY) and still growing (yes, but SLOWLY), that it's fine.

I was just afraid to call the group and ask, because of the way they treated me before. So when I brought them back- also very suddenly, no warning, and way earlier than planned- they AGAIN yelled at me, because they were SO SMALL.

With that in mind... I never went back to that first group. I am now with another group, who loves me and treats me well, and appreciates what I do (though she hasn't called me in a week... ). I am very, very happy with that choice. Don't think I would still be fostering if I was still with the first group.

The biggest difference is, the original group I was with would NEVER place any one with me again. They still think I am the root of all evil and terrible. They've never called back or anything. They still have our trap, in fact, and refuse to call us back!! Which, though annoying because we want the trap, is really fine with me!

You can tell what I recommend- go with a different group. All sets of cats and kittens need your help equally. No reason to give up your time, your heart, your home, AND your sense of self worth. Fostering is supposed to be wonderful and make you feel really good and warm inside- not shrivel like a beaten puppy.

Thank you so much for fostering, too! It's such a great thing to do.
post #4 of 7
This is the thread! http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=169635

Specifically, post #11, where I report how she treated me when I told her the supposedly-not-feral mom got out.

There's more, but that's the most similar to what you went through.

Good luck, and thanks again for fostering!
post #5 of 7
It's a shame that you were treated so rudely. Fostering is hard enough without being treated shabbily. Explain to the shelter that you made a prior commitment, so you cannot take the two they have, but perhaps in the future you might be willing. The person who is trapping is really counting on you, and is probably so thrilled to go out and trap those kittens that need rescuing.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you all. I did feel badly but realized, like Icklemiss says, I am going to burn out fast if I'm always on the defensive.

I really don't need praise - I'm doing this for the kits more than anything. But it would be nice if I didn't feel as if I had to apologize for breathing!

I am going to see if the second group is successful at their trapping tomorrow. Apparently, there are several semi-feral "teenage" cats (four months old or so) they hope to catch.

They need fosters to socialize them so they can be adopted and I look forward to that. Thanks again!

And - Belongs to Evie - I had read your posts and was impressed with your patience. I think I might have been quite angry if I'd been treated like you had. Hope you get your trap back!
post #7 of 7
I agree with the other. The swich is quite natural and frankly - necessary.

Their rudeness - is a good reason by itself.

But it is good by itself to cooperate with a group nearby. Not only convenient for you and your money-pocket, but it is a strengh. You living nearby can work together, press on the authorities together, and so on.

Thus, if you dont want conflicts, you dont need to tell openly you are leaving because of their rudeness.
You tell have found the group in your neighborhood, and they do need you.

Dont have bad conscience: you never can help them all. So the only way to wander is to help some. And this is precisely what you are doing.
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