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Fostering - have you done it?

Posted by: Shailen Posts: 100 - Joined:

#10 - by Shailen >> Sun Jun 26th, 2011 04:45 pm

Fostering is potentially a good way of testing whether you feel ready to offer a forever home to another furry friend and there are many many animals in need of temporary homes while they wait for their forever homes. 4 months after Ralph died I decided to start fostering cats having never done it before. I wasn't sure I was ready to have a permanent companion again, still felt a bit too soon, but it also seemed a shame to have a safe and secure home and not put it to good use. Well, I had little Ellie and Lucky arrive together having been rescued from the same house. Ellie was younger, small, tabby and generally adorable. Pretty sure she wouldn't struggle to get a home and sure enough, she did quickly.

Lucky is tortie and white, approx 5 years old, also very cute and a little calmer! It has been nearly 3 months and well I am very pleased to say that Lucky will be staying. Feels right and I definitely don't feel like I am betraying Ralph. After all he wouldn't want Lucky to be without a forever home and he knows I will always love him. You can see Lucky under 'L' in the New Friends tributes.

I imagine the trick of fostering long-term is to not get too attached as I can see it being quite difficult when they leave - but very rewarding too for sure. I wasn't really planning on doing it long-term and I suppose you could say I wouldn't be very good at it if I have decided to adopt the second cat I had to stay!

Have you ever fostered? What are your experiences? Would love to hear about them...
Shailen (The Ralph Site founder)
Posted by: Admin Posts: 61 - Joined: Wed Jun 8th, 2011 01:05 am

#19 - by Admin >> Mon Aug 1st, 2011 04:45 pm

A post from our Facebook page on this topic:

"fostering is a very rewarding experience but if you foster a cat that is sick or elderly eventually you have to make the decision that the quality of life is poor and we have to let them go. i have fostered many elderly golden oldies over the years and had to make the decision they all touch our lives in different ways and we get attached to them so quickly .... I wouldn`t stop fostering though it is very rewarding and though often heartbreaking it is a way of giving love and care to a animal that so desperatley needs it in their last weeks or months if i can give them that then I hope when the awful days do come they have at least had a happy comfortable loving time and they know leaving this world to cross rainbow bridge that they were loved"
The Ralph Site Admin
Posted by: Stockdalecarina Posts: 2 - Joined: Wed Aug 17th, 2011 07:00 pm

#25 - by Stockdalecarina >> Wed Aug 17th, 2011 07:20 pm

I am a foster carer for "Paws for Kids" They help people fleeing domestic violence by arranging care for their animals whilst the owner(s) are in refuges etc. waiting to be re homed. A refuge will not accept any animals. By letting their pets be fostered it allows the person, and their children, to leave the abuser.

I foster cats in my own home until such time as they can be re-united with their owners in a new home. Sometimes it can be just a few weeks and other times it can be for longer.

Yes, of course I get attached. I love animals and wouldn't make a good carer if I didn't give them a lot of love. Sometimes they can be quite traumatised by what they have witnessed. I can provide peace and quiet to allow them to recover in a safe environment. In order to protect everyone I never know who the owners are or where they are. The owner never knows where their pet(s) are. However they do know that their animals are safe and being cared for.

It is hard when the time comes for my foster charges to go. Of course it's hard. However I know that they are going back to their family and to those that they love. Children can be especially affected as they are often in the middle of domestic violence between their parents/adults in the house. Children can often become even more attached to the pets because of it. Children frequently talk to their pets as confidantes, a listening ear who will never judge them. it can be very hard to be separated and it's for this reason that Paws for Kids will take photos of the cats to pass on to the children and to reassure the children that their pets are OK.

Yes, I cry when they leave me, but I'm also very happy for them. And of course it's never very long before the next cat/cats come into my life.
Posted by: Shailen Posts: 100 - Joined:

#26 - by Shailen >> Wed Aug 17th, 2011 07:47 pm

That is a truly wonderful thing that you do. Just had a look at the website for "Paws for Kids", such a great helping hand that you offer. Safety and security for the pets, peace of mind for the carers waiting for their new home...and all round wonderful thing. Thanks for what you do. I will do what I can to increase awareness of Paws for Kids via Facebook and Twitter too.
Shailen (The Ralph Site founder)
Posted by: Mrs Virginia Jackson Posts: 2 - Joined: Tue Apr 3rd, 2012 06:54 pm

#190 - by Mrs Virginia Jackson >> Tue Apr 3rd, 2012 07:18 pm

After I lost my adopted lurcher, I contacted the small charity he came from.They have no kennels of their own and rely on foster carers. It is much easier to rehome a dog that has been in a private home, because their behaviour can be assessed. First I had Lily, a Saluki cross, 18 months,had been a traveller.In bad condition, too weak to be spayed and quite hysterical. Began to settle in, cd not be left alone at first. Then came into season! But after 3 months she was a different dog and we found her a lovely home.(My son set up a camera to monitor her nights of destruction! Up on the kitchen surface, opened a tin of cocoa, luckily didn't like it but it was all over her and the kitchen!) Of course I became very fond of her - but I knew she was not the dog for me. Decided I'd have a break - but then an emergency at the charity and I agreed to take on another lurcher. From the moment I saw her - tho" I had been certain I was not ready for another companion - I was sure she wd stay - and she did. Sadly I have just had her euthanased after 8 fantastic years.Trying to concentrate on the happy memories and now she is out of pain.Late on I'll go down the Fostering route again - and just see what happens.Not ready yet
Posted by: Shailen Posts: 100 - Joined:

#192 - by Shailen >> Thu Apr 5th, 2012 11:53 pm

Sorry for your loss Virginia. They are lovely dogs aren't they. I do hope the happy memories are or will become the over-riding emotion when you think of her. Fostering is such a great thing to do, makes such a difference so thank you.
Shailen (The Ralph Site founder)

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