Six lives saved just in time!
When Traci heard about a mom cat and her baby kittens at risk of their lives, she swooped in with her family to save them. Here’s her foster hero story:
Why did you decide to foster?
At just 7 months old, Molly and her five 3-week-old kittens were dropped off at an animal control facility. Her babies had taken just about everything Molly had to give; she was emaciated. Due to shelter overcrowding, she and her babies were going to be put to sleep if a foster family wasn’t found. (The kittens would not be able to go into adoptive homes until they were at least 8 weeks old and the shelter didn’t have the space to keep them that long. Also, they were too young for vaccinations so they were very susceptible to getting sick in the shelter environment.)
What was your experience with fostering a pet?
Our entire family enjoyed this experience immensely, especially seeing first-hand the changes in the kittens from week to week. It was a fantastic experience for our 5-year-old son. We were able to help save six lives essentially by giving them a quiet space in our home. The only challenges that come to mind were giving them medication (with the rescue’s permission we took them to a nearby animal hospital and had a veterinary technician assist us with this). Other than the medication (which was only for a few days) the only thing that comes to mind was we just needed to keep the litterboxes clean. With six cats we scooped several times a day and provided them with 3 boxes to help ensure they always had a clean place to go.
Honestly, Molly just needed a quiet, safe space to be with her babies. We put them in our spare bathroom with some basic necessities and went in several times a day to scoop the litterbox and give fresh water/food. As the kittens became more mobile we moved the family into our spare bedroom. We knew it was important to socialize them so we spent time petting them and playing with them. Our 5-year-old son loved playing with them using wand toys, lasers, and toys we made for them. He also built forts for them out of cardboard boxes and downloaded a few fishing type cat games for them on one of our tablets.
Molly was very comfortable with us interacting with them so as they got older, we invited family members and neighbors over to play with and pet them. We were able to give them tons of socialization with all types of people and some limited interaction with one of our dogs. So we feel like we were able to give them a great start in life.
Who in your family or community supports your foster volunteering and how?
Our support team included the rescue organization, the volunteer who transported them to us (the shelter was about an hour away), and our friends and family who helped us socialize them. We also had a family member who helped petsit them for a few days when we had to leave town for a quick trip.
What advice would you give to first-time foster pet parents?
Cats have a tendency to hide when entering a new environment. It’s really best to give them a space of their own when you first bring them home and let them get used to your home and family slowly. Spend some time hanging out in the room but let your foster cat come to you when he or she is ready. If you have other pets there’s lots of good information online to help you introduce them but definitely take your time!
Ready to help a foster pet? You can search for pets in need on our site, just visit https://app.911fosterpets.com/animals
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