PAIRING WITH THE RIGHT RESCUE
"I'd like to foster, but I can't afford it."
"I really want to foster, but I don't want to get stuck with the kittens if they aren't adopted."
These are just two of the comments I hear often from people who are interested in fostering cats/kittens, but are reluctant about jumping in. It's important to contact a few rescues/shelters in your area. Ask your local cat rescue or animal shelter questions before deciding which group you'd like to foster with. Most rescues and shelters provide basic supplies for fosters (food, litter, medication, etc.). Depending on the organization, some will provide extras (kennel/travel carriers, bedding, toys). Non-profit rescue groups are typically funded by donations and some grants and are limited on supplies.
The best thing to do is contact the Foster Coordinator and have them match you with a foster/s that best suit your lifestyle. Suggestion...I always recommend fostering at least two kittens. A single kitten can get very lonely and that means more work for you. A pair (or three or four) keep themselves entertained. Adult cats are a different story. Some adults need a temporary place to stay while they recover from an injury or illness or maybe they just need somewhere to stay while waiting for their spay/neuter surgery appointment. In any case, adult cats will usually be fine in a temporary foster home by themselves.
I've compiled a list of questions that you may want to ask the Foster Coordinator prior to committing to fostering:
- Here is my schedule, what fosters do you have that could fit my lifestyle best?
- How long will I be committing to care for this foster?
- What vaccines have they had and what vaccines will they need?
- Are all fosters spayed/neutered prior to adoption? (I would never work with an organization that didn't spay/neuter prior to adoption.)
- Are all fosters microchipped prior to adoption?
- Where do I take the foster in for his vaccines/neuter surgery? What are the hours the clinic is open for me to come in?
- If the foster gets sick, who do I contact? Who do I contact after business hours?
- What supplies will be provided?
- Once my foster is ready for adoption, is he returned to the shelter/adoption center?
- Once at the shelter/adoption center, how long would my foster typically wait until a forever home is found?
- Will my foster be advertised on a website/social media/Petfinder, etc.?
- What is your organization's stand on indoor only/indoor-outdoor homes and declawing? (Meaning, will the organization adopt out to someone that allows the cat to go outside?)
- What are your adoption fees? Any discounts given to someone who adopts a pair?
- If I have a friend of family member who would like to adopt one of my fosters, who should they contact?
Not all shelters and rescue organizations have the same standards. Take the time to find an organization that matches with your values and you feel comfortable not only working with but representing as one of their team members.