What’s the best thing about being a foster care volunteer for the Richmond SPCA?
“In the summer, we have kittens ALL THE TIME. It’s great!” Those are the words of Wes Freed, one of 310 active foster care volunteers who opened their homes to more than 1,100 kittens last year.
The capacity of our Robins-Starr Humane Center is limited, but with the resources of foster care, we are able to expand the number of homeless pets’ lives we can save. This is never more evident than during the spring and summer months – known as “kitten season.” In the busiest month of 2011, our foster care coordinator placed 206 kittens into foster homes. In the busiest day, 35 kittens left our center with foster providers as well as all the supplies they needed to make foster care a success.
Foster care volunteers take the most vulnerable homeless animals – neonatal kittens too young to be adopted, at times too young to even eat on their own – into their homes where they provide around-the-clock care until their tiny charges are strong and healthy enough to be spayed or neutered. In addition to being attentive to their kittens’ physical needs, foster parents also provide a loving environment and early socialization that prepares their kittens for permanent adoptive homes. Snuggling is an imperative part of the job description!
“All of our fosters have given us such love and joy in so many ways – for the amount of ‘work’ we do, the rewards are so huge it’s almost criminal,” said Jyl Freed, Wes’ wife and fellow foster provider.
You can take Jyl and Wes’ word for it, or you can experience the joys of foster care for yourself. The next Meet the Fosters training session is Wednesday, April 25 from 6-8 p.m. This class will prepare new volunteers with the skills to care for kittens at any stage of development.
Tabitha Frizzell Hanes is the director of communications at the Richmond SPCA. To read the biographies of our regular bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires a first and last name to be used as your screen name.
April 9, 2012: Help us gather supplies needed for "kitten season" this spring
April 10, 2012: Good intentions to move and care for infant kittens are not always in kittens' best interest