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One Pet At A Time
Our business manager, Pam Young, recently wrote the following article about her passion for fostering animals. It appeared in the newsletter for a non-profit group she works with, Save The Animals Foundation. We at Clayton and Churchtown Veterinary Associates are very proud of the time, energy, and love many of our staff members put into fostering pets in need. We are all in the veterinary field because we love animals and want to help them be healthy and happy. Bringing a homeless animal into your home for the necessary love and sometimes healing they need to find their forever home is not only beneficial to them, but can be a very fulfilling experience for you as well.
Why I Foster
By Pam Young
I’ve often been asked this question by friends, family,and even people I don’t know. Truth is, there is no one, simple answer - there are several. I foster because for every cat or dog I foster, there is room for one more to be cared for at the shelter. I foster because every animal I bring home is one more that isn’t euthanized. I foster because some need that extra TLC, whether for medical reasons, bottle feeding, or just simply stress relief from the noise of being in a shelter. I foster because, for some dogs, a few weeks in a loving home helps us to see their personality more clearly and makes it easier to match them to an adoptive family.
But my #1 reason for fostering is actually far simpler, and a little on the selfish side. I foster because it makes me feel good to help an animal that needs help. There is no way to explain the satisfaction I get from watching my bottle kittens grow and thrive. Or from watching an emaciated, neglected puppy blossom into a robust, happy dog. Nothing pleases me more than when one of my former fosters comes to visit me and is happy and healthy. Sometimes, and this is the best of all, they even remember me! A foster pup from two summers ago still goes nuts and slobbers me with kisses every time he sees me. There just aren’t enough words to describe how awesome that makes me feel!
Now, I realize that not everyone has the time to bottle feed kittens or take care of a litter of puppies. Some people just don’t do well handling medical issues. Not everyone has space in their home for an extra dog, even for a short period of time. For those who don’t have much space or time, I have other ideas. Volunteer at a shelter, any shelter. Take an hour a week to walk dogs and give them time out of their cement run to walk and roll on the grass. Work with a rescue that needs help transporting animals from the rescue to their new homes. Collect towels and blankets for your local shelter or rescue. Bring in treats for the cats and dogs. Any little thing you can do makes a difference in the lives of the shelter animals.
A friend recently sent me a picture of an orange kitten being bottle fed. The caption read, “Keep rescuing animals. You may lose your mind, but you will surely find your soul.” Truer words have never been spoken. I have been crazy tired from bottle feeding, and frustrated when I struggle to place one of my fosters. But nothing can take away the feeling I get from helping these animals. Find your niche, make a difference, and you will understand exactly why I foster.