Sorry we are late with our Happy Mother’s Day wishes. We have some of the best moms around too! I’m not talking about the mom-cats/dogs that care for their litters (although most of them do a pretty good job), I’m talking about our awesome foster parents that open their hearts and home to our orphans and help raise them. With the very young kittens, it can be a round the clock job, at least for a few days until they get stable. Our fosters (men and women) do a life-saving, heroic job of helping us save these young creatures and we want to say a big thank you!
This time of year we get in lots of young kittens and growing up in a shelter is not the proper environment for these little ones. Not only are we not here for the late night feedings, they need more stimulation and socializing than we can provide in the shelter. How much better for these babies to be raised in a home with everything that involves; kids, other pets, household noises and one-on-one attention. Sure playing with kittens is hard work, but someone has to do it! Want to join the fun? Kitten season is just getting started and we can always use more foster homes.
Sometimes we have a mom with a litter of young kittens, which makes it even easier for you. She does all the hard work of feeding and cleaning the babies – you just get to enjoy them (and care for the mom, of course). Want your (older) children to experience the miracle of life? Don’t let your cat breed – foster! They get the same experience with the benefit of a lesson on volunteering and giving back to their community. Sure it can be hard to part with the babies when they are finally big enough to come back for adoption but hopefully by then all your friends will have fallen in love with a pair of the kittens and voila! You have helped to find them homes (with people you know so you can keep tabs on them).
Don’t worry about being a foster failure – what we affectionately call people who end up keeping one or two of their foster babies. We help you be realistic about what you can take on permanently and try to have another litter of needy babies ready when you bring in your litter for adoption. It can help ease the transition to know you are needed to help others! That part really does get easier with each litter. Knowing that they are all going to good homes also helps.
If you think this is a challenge that you are up for – please stop by, or download, and fill out a foster application so we can get you into the program. We provide all the food, litter and medical care – it only costs you time and space in your home! Most of our fosters help with the orphan kittens that come through our doors. Depending on their age and condition, they will need anywhere from just a week to two months of care – you can decide what commitment you can make. Occasionally we get a cat, dog or rabbit with an injury or illness that needs someplace to heal and, again, you can specify what you are comfortable taking on.
Mother’s Day has new meaning when you are mothering little baby animals but know that the love you give is returned many times over. We salute and thank our wonderful foster parents!
Kidz ‘n’ Critters Summer Camp – registration is now open for our camp program. 4 sessions for different age levels from 2nd grade to 7th grade. Educational and interactive – perfect for all young animal lovers! For details and registration forms go to www.rpanimalshelter.org or stop by the shelter.
“Get Them Back Home” Campaign – Every lost pet should have a way to get back home. FREE pet ID tag and a back-up microchip are available to all residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati. No appointment necessary, just come by the shelter during our regular open hours: Wed. 1-6:30; Thurs.-Fri.-Sat. 1-5:30; Sun. 1-4:30.
Fix-it Clinics – Free spay and neuters for cats; and $60 dog surgeries (up to 80 lbs.) for low-income Rohnert Park and Cotati residents. Call 588-3531 for an appointment.
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.