Are you looking for ways to help animals, animal rescue groups, and even TNVR groups in your community? Consider fostering an animal. Believe me – it’s an experience like no other. There is a constant demand for foster parents for just about any situation you can think of. With willingness and enough guidance, it can be pretty straightforward. All you really need is a little space, a bunch of patience, and a lot of love.
Why I Became a Foster Parent?
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly created uncertainties. Name them – depression, anxieties, loneliness, and even boredom. On the brighter side, this time has surged a lot of people to foster and adopt animals.
Because restaurants are closing, I realized the impact on many stray cats and dogs. They wander and beg for food, and almost had nothing because people were not allowed to go out.
With this, I believed I needed to do something. I knew I could do something.
So, we started feeding the strays, and I met a couple of people who were also looking to help. We took turns in feeding Persimmon cats and dogs. More and more people wanted to help and comfort the strays – locals and even utility personnel. Unconditional love flooded during this time which none of us had ever been through before.
We also started TNVR in our community – trapping and fixing community dogs and cats and returning them after recovery.
We started as complete foster novices in 2020. We keep them until they are healed, and return them after recovery. As we go along the way, we learned a lot. In fact, the very first TNVR cat we had was a failure – the cat escaped. But you know what, if I look back, I have grown so much just by doing this. I believe the more you put yourself in it, and the more you learn about why you need to do it, the better equipped you’ll be. At the end of the day, it boils down to the question, Why are you doing this?
Why Should You Consider Fostering an Animal
Not yet convinced? Below are some reasons why should you consider fostering an animal.
Fostering Helps TNVR Programs
I believe you have heard about TNVR and the people doing it. But if you don’t know what TNVR is, it is a practice of humanely controlling the overpopulation of community cats and dogs. TNVR stands for Trapping, Neutering/Spaying, Vaccinating, then Returning freely roaming community cats.
A successful TNVR involves a volunteer foster parent who oversees the cat/dog – providing food and water, adequate shelter, administer medicines, and monitoring health while recovering. This is what I do – my contribution to the whole program, in partnership with SvetRescue, CupidCareTNVR, Paw Pantry Mission, and The Chanaks.
We believe that this is the most efficient and most humane way to control or stabilize the populations of stray animals. By opening up my home to these animals, it gives us the ability to SAVE MORE LIVES on the streets. Isn’t it fulfilling – to be a contributor to the change that will make a difference to the lives of these voiceless animals forever?
Fostering Helps Animals to Find New Homes
Aside from fostering TNVR candidates, we also foster animals that we rescued – mostly kittens or puppies that you can never turn a blind eye to. We remove them from that negative situation – be it a victim of abuse or a pet in need of medical care, and then transform them to become ‘adoptables’. Every animal we rescued that found a new home only freed up space for another one.
Fostering Animals Teaches Us Life’s Greatest Lessons
Although fostering an animal can be enjoyable, raising them especially very young kittens can teach you life’s greatest lessons. I realized when fostering, love is never enough to save a life. You must be equipped with the right knowledge and skills. As I continued this journey, I learned skills such as syringe feeding, treating skin conditions, administering medicines, identifying common conditions and situations such as whether the cat is dehydrated, in pain, or aggressive. I was bitten several times, but these bites told me that they just simply want not to be handled or touched (haha). I have to respect it, or else…
Fostering an animal also taught me responsibility by doing daily tasks such as cleaning the litter boxes, picking up poops, making sure they have food and water, and washing rags and beddings.
In general, fostering an animal can teach us lots of valuable life lessons: love, compassion, trust, responsibility, and most especially, patience.
What About Giving Up Your Foster Cat?
Let’s go back to the word FOSTERING. It means giving temporary shelter to an animal. Perhaps, you’re wondering what happens when it’s time to say adios. I will write a separate article for this, but just to give you an overview, the ultimate goal of fostering is at the end of the day, I need to say goodbye.
Saying goodbye is not a bad thing. It’s the reason why I still do what I do. Saying goodbye is a success, that I did it – that I got this animal through. It’s easy to release TNVR cats – no problem at all. However, it’s not avoidable to form attachments, especially for cats or dogs that I fostered for months. But, if I find the perfect fur-rent, I won’t hesitate to let them go.
At the end of the day, I stick to the idea that I helped them recover. I kept them safe. I showed them love and care.
I’m only a part of their journey – not their ultimate destination. Saying goodbye only opens up another opportunity for another cat or dog in need – the start of an amazing life of another animal.
This is why I foster.
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Featured Image via Unsplash
Cha of Little Misadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, researcher and a fur mom. She came from General Santos City and finds that everything in life teaches her a lesson. She is inspired to write about and out of her experiences, but later found out that it was her experiences that actually inspire her.