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Thread: Animal Foster moms and dads - Let's chat!

  1. #1
    Super Member Feathers's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Pacific NW
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    3,029
    Hi Everyone: I'm seeing more and more people on the board speaking of their work with animal rescue so thought I'd start a thread here on the board just for that topic, Animal Rescue and related things. I'll start with my story:
    My DH and I have fostered kitties for our no kill shelter for about 7 years...the first year or two were maybe one or two kitties a year but now we're fostering all the time. So far we've cared for more than 80 kitties who were in need of medical treatments, bottle feeding, socialization and just love and a back or chin rub. We've had a few dogs in these years but now we're doing only kitties because it's sometimes hard to integrate kitties and dogs into the family without constant worries. Our shelter has as many as 70 or 80 kitties in care at a time. The most we've ever had in our home at one time was a mom with 4 tiny kittens who then took on 4 more unrelated kitties to nurse back to health. They were all adopted and we still hear from the adoptive families and get pictures...actually, about 80% of the adoptions of our foster kitties keep in touch with us via e-mail so we know what our babies are doing and see their pictures now and then. We cry for days when we have to send them to their forever homes but know they are the lucky ones...they get a home! The kitten in my Avatar was only 2 days old when we got her. She and her brother were born to a dumped mamma who was sick and couldn't nurse them. Brother died the day he was born but Patience (named because she has no other patience in her repatoire of tricks) thrived and is an absolute joy. We call her Jumping Judy alot because she spends more time in the air than on the floor. She loves to play with her toys and our big kitties but her favorite toy is my husband. He speaks, she comes running! My DH tells everyone he's been trying to train me to come running whenever he speaks but it's not happening so he appreciates his voice power over the kitty. :lol:

    Tell us your story.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2009
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    Livonia, MI near Detroit
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    784
    Thanks Feathers for starting the thread. I have always loved animals and for many years when I was young, wanted to be a vet. I was in pre-vet med at Michigan State but did not take the test because on the day it was given, my cousin, whom I was living with, was dying in the hospital. There was no way I could have concentrated. Time passed, I got married, had a kitten/cat and sought out animals wherever I could. I was in our local PetSmart about 3 years ago to see the kitties and there was a sign on the window looking for a volunteer to work every other Tuesday. I called immediately and started the next week. We clean the cages, trim nails, feed & water and let everyone out to socialize with each other and us. I have RA, have had both knees replaced and need back surgery so I don't work regularly because I'm just not reliable but I can do the volunteer work. Last summer I fostered 21 kitties mostly very young ones. 5 were little ones under 3 days old when I got them and the one my DS found didn't make it. She lived 9 days and had gained an ounce and a half but just stopped eating and died the next day in my hands. At least she knew she was loved and not just abandoned, by herself. The other 4 were all adopted. Yes, I too cry when I have to put them in the cage up at PetSmart but I know that they will be found by their forever families. What makes it hard is that if they aren't adopted right away, they always cry when they see me when I go in. I live right across the street so I find myself going in every day for awhile to see them. Sometimes they are a little stressed and stop eating the hard food so I'll go in to give them canned food a couple of times a day. That gives me an excuse anyways. The main shelter has almost 80 cats right now so I try to go and pick up a bunch when we have empty cages in the store. Our traffic is much greater at the store so they are adopted much quicker than at the shelter. Right now we have mostly adults so there aren't any tiny ones but that will change in March when the babies start coming. Thankfully here in Michigan the feral moms stop having babies when it gets really cold. I wish people would just fix the boys since it is cheaper than the girls and then there would be no more babies. I can't even bear to think about all the kitties the Humane Society kills each year because of space constrictions. I'm thankful ours is a no-kill shelter but that means they need lots of foster help. Bless all of you who help out those who are the most helpless. I have 3 kitties now, one is a 'foster failure' from the first litter I fostered in May. Cinder, 10 yo, is a grey tabby & is the oldest, then there's Emily who is 7. She is a beautiful gray medium hair, very small kitty. Camille, the baby, is a 9 month old tortie and I'm sure Emily hopes that if she is nasty to her just a little longer, Camille will go away. That's not going to happen so I'm hoping they start being better friends. Cinder tolerates her but as she gets less "kittenish" I think they will be better with her. She just drives them nuts! I babysat for one of my bottle babies that had been adopted the end of November and first thing Sandi did was go into the family room and jump up on the loveseat where she used to get her bottle, looking right at home. She and Camille had the best time playing with each other. When she went home, Camille laid at the front door waiting for her to come back. I felt so bad, her playbuddy was gone. Thanks for sharing my story and I look forward to reading others. Next...
    Wendy

  3. #3
    Bobbinwinder's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    Wow, my hat is definitely off to those of you who bottle fed fur babies and could give them up...I'm not that strong! I've taken on 6 of those in my lifetime...only one of which I couldn't save. I'm still the mother to two litter mate males...brothers on the order of Cain and Abel! I don't actually foster...I take them in and keep them...the last three weaned and starving kittens that showed up at the front door in the middle of the night were almost more than even I could deal with...but, I've yet to regret enlarging our family to accommodate them. I've adopted several rescued Eskimo Spitz dogs too... one had to be returned to it's Grandparents per our agreement because he couldn't make nice with our male...and one we had to find another home because she needed to be an only child/dog and she's the light of her new Mother's life now. We still have one and we have some of the most wonderful memories of the one that now waits at the Rainbow Bridge. So, one dog and six cats and a few box turtles...that's the family...they let DH and me do whatever we want as long as their wants and needs come first! Oh, one of those turtles is a road-smack victim that the vet patched with automotive bondo and handed off to us many years ago...a real miracle...several years of recovery similar to stroke re-hab...still not without handicap and incapable of living free, but happy and able to enjoy the company of the girls...lol...and I've got little ones to prove it! I can't imagine a life without the animals I've had the opportunity to love. My sincerest thanks to everyone that does anything to make life better for animals.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mrsjdt's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Upstate NY
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    490
    I'll just tell the "right now in our house". Besides the 3 cats ...Mr. Smith, Smitty for short; who came from the Smith farm, that was going to foreclosure, was the only kitten left alive when they locked the dogs in the barn, after the cows were gone, while the contents of the house were auctioned, leaving the cats and kittens no where to hide...we took him to doctor him back to health......13 years ago. CallaLilly, Callie for short, Little Miss Priss most of the time, found in a bag floating in a creek with her dead litter mates. We only took her till she could eat on her own. That was 10 years ago. And BlackJack, Jack for short, who was dropped here 3 years ago, and fed daily on our deck. Could not touch him!!! Last year we had a terrible snow storm (24" in one hour), and he disappeared. We thought he had been plowed under but, after clearing out the drive and the walks, heard a cat meow and he had gotten thru a hole in the skirting of our modular home and was stuck. We had to "bag him" to get him, locked him in the spare bathroom for 3 days with litter and food and after a month or so, updated his shots (he was already neutered and declawed) and have kept him inside where he belongs! And then, my trip to the Vet to update Callie's shots this past April ('09) to see 2 Chinese Crested with a couple who really didn't seem to care less for these dogs. I eavesdropped on their conversation and realized they were going to "put them down" because they couldn't housebreak them. I BOLDLY approached them, and asked if they would let me take them, with the good word from the Vet; they said that wasn't necessary and handed me their leashes, told the receptionist to give me their info, and walked out. I was the 5th family in 2 years....The dogs were PETRIFIED.. Sir Gaylord is now neutered and UTD on shots, Lady Godiva is UTD on shots but awaiting the needed funding for her spaying (I have about half). They have both come a long way....he is friendly, and calm. She's skittish and does not like men except for my DH...But that's OK for now. They are no longer food aggressive (their ribs showed when I got them) but remain food obsessive. BTW, they're housebroken..took me 8 days. Sleep under the covers at night and are the sweetest couch potatoes most of the day Sadly, they still don't know what "toys' are. But are sooo happy to see us when we get home and freely give kisses..they've found their castle I guess....

    Lady Godiva
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    Sir Gaylord
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  5. #5
    Super Member Feathers's Avatar
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    Pacific NW
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    Sunkist,BobbinWinder and Mrs.JDT: THANK YOU for your rescue work. Wow, what stories and what caring hearts you have for these poor animals who are at the mercy of uncaring, cruel humans. I'm sure we could all match horror stories for hours . My DH and I have choosen to concentrate on making the end of the story the dream come true for as many animals as we can because the beginnings of their stories tear us up, emotionally. We always whisper in our foster babies ears "we hope your new forever home is at least the same as the home you are leaving (our home) but we want the new home to be BETTER than the house you are leaving." Thanks for all that you folks do. BTW, thanks for posting the pictures of your dog babies. They are darling. I'll attach a couple pictures of some of our fosters over the years.

    Lucky a.k.a. Awful...Cute,Naughty,Fun,
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    Weight 3oz When We got Tanner
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    FeathersCameToUsAt1WkOldTanner
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