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Blog the Change 4 Animals—Fostering

I've seen my furrends tweeting about their fosters and have always wanted to know more about what it takes to open your home to a little foster kitteh or dog. My peeps think that if I had been fostered, I might not have come to them as feral as I did. The cat before me came from the same rescue, but she was fostered and she was a lap cat. I finally had the opportunity to ax my Aunt, Karen Hill, who has fostered many furry friends. Before I get to the innerview, I'd like to show a little video that Brookes Legacy Animal Rescue made encouraging people to foster. At the 43 second mark, you can see my human cousin, Vicki, holding a tortie.

CK: How long have you personally been fostering and how did you make the decision to foster?
KH: Fostering cats—and sometimes I foster dogs—has been extremely satisfying. I have fostered for Brookes Legacy Animal Rescue for 4 years now and I can't even explain the joy I have when my fosters find their forever family! I always cry, but it is tears of happiness. 

CK: What exactly does fostering entail? Who pays for the animals vet bills, food, etc.?
KH: With our group, the foster home supplies the food, litter, etc. and the rescue handles all medical expenses for the pets. A small price to pay when you look at the rewards of helping these animals that we have saved from euthanasia at the kill shelters. We are also asked to bring the foster pets to our weekly adoption event at our local Petco store, and sometimes other events in the community. We are quite active and this helps the pets connect with people looking to adopt. We do require foster homes to have their own pets up-to-date on vaccinations and check to see if they are allowed to have pets where they live. Some fosters mingle their own pets and some don’t. I always kept my cat fosters separate from my own as I had a lot of cats coming and going (sometimes I would foster up to 20, but I had an empty bedroom/bathroom for this). Cats don’t always integrate well with each other in the beginning but usually after a few days everyone works it out. I didn’t want to mingle cats on a continual basis with my own because of the volume of cats I foster. 

CK: Is it hard to give up an animal that you've fostered for awhile? Have you ever wound up keeping one of your fosters?
KH: Many times we have volunteers that are what I call "Failed Fosters" who end up adopting their foster pet! This is a double edge sword because we are happy the pet has found their forever home, but then many times the fosters don't "Foster" anymore because there is now an added pet in the house. 

My personal mission is to place these pets and make room for more. I do get somewhat attached, but I always look at the bigger picture. I have been at shelters to rescue and have seen the pets in the cages lined up outside the death row room. This keeps me very motivated to continue to foster, place, and then make room for more to be saved. Cats specifically do not have to be held for 5 days like dogs for owners to look for them in some shelters. They can come in and go immediately to euthanasia. Every shelter is different but in the long run, cats are euthanized at a much, much higher rate than dogs. 

CK: Do you foster special needs animals?
KH: Yes, I have fostered many special needs cats too…..blind, one eyed, three legged, etc. The bottom line is that these animals don’t know they are special needs. We always find placement for them and they are so loved. My favorite “special kitty” adoption was with a young boy who fell in love with one of my fosters “Blinky” who only had one eye. She was such a sweet little Russian Blue mix kitten. Just melted my heart! They sent a picture of him with her last Christmas that was so sweet. 

CK: Can you share a story about one special cat you fostered and who got adopted?
Best in Show: Panzy Priss
KH: One of my foster cats, who I became very attached to, was Panzy Priss. She was a petite tuxedo that I would take with me all the time to adoption events, etc. because she did real well in public, the car, liked other cats, dogs … just wonderful.

The rescue was asked to attend a cat show they were holding locally and said we could enter one of our available cats in the “Household Pet” category. My comment was…who knew? They recommended a friendly outgoing cat personality would do best obviously, so I naturally thought of Panzy.

I didn’t know that anyone can show their cat of any background in this category. Naturally I assumed a cat show would only be purebred breeds! The cat show people are very rescue friendly too. (we actually placed 3 cats at this show). This was all new to us … running from ring to ring and trying to man our rescue booth! Long story short … after 2 days, 10 judges, etc. Panzy won “Best In Show” in the Household Pet category, at the Platinum Coast Cat Fanciers show on Sunday, July 24, 2011 held at the Araba Temple in Ft. Myers, Florida!

Several weeks after the show I had her at one of our adoption events at Petco with some of her ribbons and a lovely couple adopted her. They simply love her whether she won ribbons or not! I was so happy for all of them, but really missed her, as she was my foster for almost 1 year. 


One of Karen's fosters needs your thoughts, prayers and well wishes. Traffic had surgery for the removal of her back leg. Donations are needed, as well as a forever family for this sweet kitty. I wrote about her earlier this year. #pawcircle

Would you like to comment?

  1. Good luck to Traffic we hope things go well. Wishing you a happy Sunday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. That was a great interview and I am purring for sweet Traffic.

    Hey, Sister Precious gave a plug for Nip & Bones yesterday.

    Live Long and Foster!!!

  3. If I had the room, I would love to foster. Thank you for highlighting this important way to help animals, by caring for and socializing them while they are waiting for their furever homes.

  4. That is soo true about the euth rate for cats!! and the adoption rate -a t least at Wayside - is half that of dogs. Thankfully we'e no-kill, but's hard to see 80 dogs a week find their forever homes when less than half that number of kitties do... :-(

    Fostering is soooo important! We think our Mom & Pop should retire so they have the time to do it!

  5. Great interview! Fostering is something I would like do at some point when I have fewer pets. It has to be one of the most rewarding jobs someone could do.

  6. Oh those foster homes are so important. It keeps them out of the cages. That sure sounds like the most wonderful person. I have fostered a few and did keep one of them. It is sad when they go but great to know that they have a good home. I have one now that I am fostering. This is one terrific post. Hope the auction was a huge success. You sure did a good job on it.

  7. Catabulous interview! Fosters are VIP (very impawtant people)- and the animals appreciate what they do for them.
    Prayers for Traffic - wishing her the very best!

    Thank you for blogging the change for animals,
    Kim Thomas

  8. That was a great interview! Foster humans are awesome!

  9. Hey Cathy Keisha, Jet here.

    What a perfect post for today. We know that you will educate so many people and lots of animals will benefit. My feline brothers, Puffy and Fluffy were fostered by a med student (after 5 abusive homes). Mom asked me to share that she asked med student why she fostered. She replied she knew she was not in the appropriate place in her life to own, however knew she could help in this way.

  10. Super great interview! Often it is the shelters who get all of the credit and the fosters fall through the cracks.

    Cody was fostered by a wonderful woman associated with a rescue here in Michigan. She adored him and to this day on his Gotcha Day and his Birthday I ALWAYS send her a photo of him to thank her for the amazing job that she did when he was just a little kit!!!

  11. What a wonderful post, CK. We love that you featured fostering today and your Aunt Karen. She is very selfless to always keep the big picture in mind. I can imagine it's easy to fall in love over and over.

    Panzy Priss warms our hearts too!

    (((purrs))) for Traffic. xoxo

  12. Fosterers are a special bunch. Great interview, CK xox

  13. Hiya CK! Great post! Great topic for B4TC day! I haven't done mine yet, late start. But, I was also saved by Miss Tammy who got the public shelter I was in to let her foster me (I was on the list for next day euth) and she kept me until a private no kill cat shelter had room for me. Her willingness to foster me saved my life!

  14. Hi Cousin CK,

    Thank you for sharing information on the importance of foster homes for pets waiting for their furever homes. Fostering brings me so much joy in so many ways. Thank you for interviewing me....

    XOXO, Aunt Karen

    P.S. Traffic will have her leg removed tomorrow and will be so much happier to not have it in the way and holding up her jumping and playing.

  15. Excellent interview, CK. Our mom would love to foster, but she's sure she'd end up being a failed foster.

  16. What a great interview! The Human's best friend has started fostering but they live up in Oregon so the Human hasn't been there yet. They were down to one cat, so they decided this was the time to go for it! The Human says it's 60-40 that her friends will end up with some new kittehs, though!

    Much love to your Aunt Karen and Traffic! XOXOXO

  17. Absolutely fantastic post for today... those who foster are definitely my heroes!


  18. Just dropping by to leave some kissies, CK. You must still be 'zawsted from all your hard work! XOXOXO

  19. CK that was very informative interview about fostering from your Aunt and that it truly takes someone special,

    Purrs for Traffic to a quick recovery so she can jump again soon.

  20. Wonderful article, Yes Foster parents are part of the formula to help all animals find forever homes. Thank you!!!!

  21. What a great article on fostering. I don't think people realize how important this is to a the ability of a pet to be adopted. Great job!

  22. Thanks for sharing this interview. As a pending first time foster parent this post really helped to ease the anxiety of fostering since losing my cat to cancer 3 years ago.


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