Thursday, February 26, 2015

How fostering saves lives #FoodShelterLove

Greetings from Times Square—the crossroads of the world—where we be shouting about Hill’s® Food, Shelter & Love™ program.

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Food, Shelter, & Love Program, but Stunning Keisha only shares information I feel is relevant to my readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Being a city kitty is easy for me because I live in a nice condo with staff at my beck and call. However, it isn’t easy for the many homeless kitties roaming the streets or living in shelters. Believe me, I came from the streets and went through the shelter system. The shelters I was at were nowhere near as cozy as today’s shelters. We didn’t get the quality food they serve today, thanks to Hill’s® Food, Shelter & Love™ program.

Top & center pic courtesy Hill’s Pet
Bottom pic ©Lucid Waters/Deposit Photos
Lemme tell you a bit about the program before I tell you how fostering saves lives. The Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love™ program is based on encouraging individuals to volunteer at their local shelters; make donations to these shelters and I don’t just mean monetary donations; educating pet parents how nutritious food can help shelter pets; and helping get shelter pets adopted. Towards those aims, they’ve provided over $240 million worth of food to nearly 1000 shelters and have helped over 6 million pets find their forever castles. One of the foods they donate is Hill’s® Science Diet® Kitten Healthy Development food. If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that on a regular basis, we donate food, litter, bedding and cleaning supplies to our rescue.

Kitten Season—which usually starts in March—arrived early this year. We know firsthand cos TW was looking for a TNR to spay Mama Maple Cat earlier this year. Before she knew it, there were kittens. These kitties were lucky to be rescued by UCFCC and are all in foster care. Shelters do not look forward to Kitten Season because many are overcrowded already. Many kittens born during kitten season are brought to animal control and euthanized. Unlike dogs, cats don’t have to be held for any length of time before that happens. That’s why fostering helps shelters and saves lives.

Fostering also help kitties get socialized so when they walk into a furever home, they don’t get returned. TW wishes I had been fostered. My foster peeps would have taught me to enjoy getting cuddles and that I shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds me.

My Aunt Karen Hill knows all about fostering. She’s fostered over a hunntert dogs and cats over the last seven years. A few years ago I innerviewed Aunt Karen and we shared a pawsome video about fostering.

I talked with Aunt Karen recently and axed her to share some tips on fostering and foster fails. If you’ve never fostered because you’re afraid you’d want to keep them, her response may change your mind.

CK: So what are some tips for making sure you’re not a foster fail?

Karen Hill: My best tip on fostering is to answer the question I always get asked. How do you foster and not get attached? Well, I actually get attached to all my foster cats! I have fostered hundreds over the past 7 years and loved every one of them. However, I always have looked at the big picture of how many cats are euthanized daily at local kill shelters. If I kept some of my fosters, I wouldn't have room to continue to foster more and that helps save lives. I have, unfortunately, seen the stacks of cages of cats and dogs waiting to enter the euthanasia room at a local shelter. It is an eye opening experience not in a good way. Fostering saves lives … bottom line. It makes a spot for a cat that would have been euthanized. By fostering, I help these sweet little cats (and dogs) along on their journey for a forever family. There is so much joy when they are adopted. When I started volunteering, I wanted to help animals, of course, but hadn't considered how it completes a circle for the new adopters too. It is social work in many ways and fills my heart with happiness.

CK: How long do the fosters stay in your house before they set off into the world?

KH: I usually have the kittens until they are old enough to be spayed/neutered and then we try to move them into one of our adoption centers where they’ll be seen. I had fostered 3 other kittens with Reggie that were a little younger from a different litter and they were adopted within 2 weeks of moving to to the store. Typically it can be 8 weeks or less. I will foster mom and kittens a lot and they can be 10+ weeks if they come to me fairly newborn. For adult cats, it depends. Sometimes several months or not that long if they are adopted.

I hope Aunt Karen has convinced you to consider fostering and saving lives. TW would love to foster but our condo is too small and … well… I’m very jealous. We tried once and I almost killed the kitten when Pop went near her. I’ll bet if I had been fostered myself, I would have welcomed her.

Hill’s knows that every shelter pet should get the proper nutrition. Did you know that when you purchase Hill’s Science Diet for your cat, you’re helping support this important program?

Follow Hill’s on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

22 comments:

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

The Human's best friend fosters kittens--it is SOOOO impawtant! You are a good girl CK to write about this. If we lived somewhere bigger than a 1 bedroom apartment the Human might try to do this too, but with me around....well, not now. I don't think I would attack a kitten or anything, but it took the Human sooooooooooooo many years to get me to trust her, she's not willing to take the risk of disrupting my world. I make her send green papers to good causes instead, though. XOXOXOXO P.S. There's a little more room atop the tower than it seems . . .

Patty Woodland said...

I think people who foster are the greatest people in the world.

Ann Staub said...

It's a great program, and your Aunt has some nice tips for fostering. I'd like to foster someday. Maybe when I'm a hunnert years old or something and my kids aren't so small. I wanted to work on this campaign, but didn't have a cat lol... I still applied. Funny, since I unexpectedly got a cat the next day!

Molly TheWally said...

Great program and bravo to all. Have a tremendous Thursday.
Best wishes Molly

The Swiss Cats said...

It's a great program. Paws up for all the people who foster ! Purrs

ANGEL ABBYGRACE said...

We applaud those who foster -- we wish we had someplace in our home to do so. This was a great posting CK!!! Well done and whiskerkisses to you Auntie for fostering.

Melissa and Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

I've always figured I couldn't foster because of the attachment issue, but Karen sure put that into perspective. Stacks of cages filled with precious animals waiting to be euthanized makes me so incredibly sad and angry. Thankfully here in VT that isn't as much of an issue. We are very lucky. Wonderful post, CK!

Tamago said...

Great interview. Forstering truly saves lives. I admire everyone who fosters and helps these kitties!

Brian said...

That was a great post and a great program CK!!!

Austin Towers said...

I think it's called Science Plan over here and it's what I eat for kibble. Nommy and yummy. Great interview and terrific post. People who foster are the best because they manage to show the lurve and then pass it on. It must be hard to do that!!

Cheri Wildcatwoods said...

If there weren't so many of us we would foster. It is so very important!

da tabbies o trout towne said...

ck...thiz bee a grate post N pleez ta tell aunt karen we said thanx for sharin her views.... her commints about foster failure makes sense when seen in thiz lite...thiz haz all ways been de food serviss gurls gratest feer...goin frum foster failure to kitteh hoarder ore sumthin....♥♥♥♥

Kitty Cat Chronicles said...

The Mom says that she would love to foster, but she is unsure how it would work out since there are already 5 of us! Thanks for this post - it is pushing her ever closer to giving it a shot.

Sometimes, Cats Herd You said...

Paws up to your aunt for fostering! The head peep has thought about fostering, but our place is too small and doesn't have the space to keep fosters away from us, and Ashton couldn't handle a foster hanging out in the house. Fostering is such an important part of the jigsaw puzzle that makes up animal rescue!

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

Hills is a great company! I would be a foster fail, any kitty that comes into my house is mine forever- although, I had to let my niece take hers when she moved out- and it practically killed me.

The Island Cats said...

We think those that foster are angels. The mom wishes she could foster but with the 3 of us, it's just not possible.

meowmeowmans said...

That was a great interview, CK. Your aunt is awesome, and we are so grateful for her! My Aunt Kathy, who passed away a couple of years ago, was a legendary foster kitty mom in Seattle. She and our cousin helped get lots of kittens ready to find their forever homes. :)

Kjelle Bus aka Charlie Rascal said...

My mom-person and I think people who foster are the greatest people in the world !!
To bad my dad-person is allergic othervise we would have fostercats too.

XOXO

Kitties Blue said...

We don't have fosters for the same reason you don't, CK. We have trouble getting along with each other much less stranger cats. Plus the eight of us is all Mom and Dad can handle. Dad gets a huge bag of cat food everytime he goes to Sam's. One week it goes to the no kill shelter and the next week to Barn Cat Buddies, the TNR/Rescue group that Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo came from. Hill's is doing really great things! XOCK from your brofur and sisfurs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

Savannah's Paw Tracks said...

sigh...Mom L would foster in a second but Dad P worries about me bein' put off. I have had a hard enough time learning to accept TKS even just a little.

Jen Gabbard said...

Your aunt is amazing; I admire those who have the willpower and ability to think logically when faced with "OMG kitties! Can I keep them all?" as I would be. It's always shocking how differently dogs and cats are treated in the shelter system; for some reason there seems to be logic that cats are more disposable :(

Leah Erb said...

It would be so hard to be a kitty foster and not fail! It's nice to know that Auntie Hill is a strong supporter of kitty rescues and fosters.