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Cat and Dog Rescuers, Shelter Workers, Foster "Parents" Please Chime In!

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  • Cat and Dog Rescuers, Shelter Workers, Foster "Parents" Please Chime In!

    Please tell me about the work you do with cats and dogs (or other animals). I am not asking for specific info on specific shelters, just would love to hear from people who do this wonderful work.

    Rescue, TNR, Shelter, Fostering ...

    I am trying to keep my own little family together and from going feral -- me and 2 kittehs. Would love to be in a place where we could foster more kittehs (well, I haven't mentioned this to my 2 yet ... )
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique

  • #2
    I work with a collie/sheltie rescue. I don't foster because one of my dogs is very resistant to change and new animals. And my husband has said 4 dogs is the limit.

    I've pulled dogs from a shelter, I'm the computer geek...new tracking data base, working on a new website eventually with the volunteer webmaster, and I interview and vet potential fosters and transport people.

    I can also hold an emergency rescue for a couple of days if I have to.

    All of our volunteers seem to wear many hats.

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    • #3
      I do several jobs for a local rescue. The primary one is fostering kittens. I am the only one of our rescue group who will do bottle babies, so I take bottle baby kittens when I can, as well as the ones so young they need food and attention often. I also answer our phone line, serve on the board of directors, and other jobs as they come up.
      Mystic Owl Sporthorses
      www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

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      • #4
        I help take care of the cats that live in Petsmart for a local rescue. I feed, clean cages, medicate and play with them. Right now I don't have a regular shift, I just fill in. But usually everyone takes 1 shift a week (morning or evening). It works pretty well.

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        • #5
          You need to give the 2 resident cats veto power over the fostering plan, IMO.

          Otherwise, I have known people who were the candy stripers of their local shelter. The "job" was to go in there and give some animals some personal attention. If only it paid, I'd pet random, down-on-their-luck cats 60 hours a week.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

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          • #6
            Oh, I'll have a hard time shutting up! I spent 6.5 years doing temperament testing on adoptable dogs at a regional humane society. I did bite case evaluations, too. And I fostered dogs, a few puppies, cats and kittens. That was all volunteer work.

            Then I got hired by the same shelter to run the foster program, and I did that for 4 years. I still did the volunteer stuff, like fostering and writing the little bio paragraphs on the adoptable dogs for the website.

            I don't foster has much any more. I have loosely kept my connections to the rescue community, but just don't have the time to be as involved as I have been in the past. I do miss it. Maybe not the dealing with people part, but I have had so many great dogs come into my home! I can't help but miss that.

            And I really miss the kittens! Maybe next summer things will have settled enough for me to start fostering when kitten season rolls around.
            Sheilah

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            • #7
              We foster for a rescue group, live on a foster dog farm solely for the dogs. There are usually 8-16 fosters at our place at any point. MrB attends two adoption events per week (both days of the weekend). We're in our third year doing this, but before we moved here we fostered for a few years, same group, but one to two fosters at a time, with the exception of puppies.
              Before that, I took photos for the local pound as part of a big group of volunteers who would alternate visits so all the dogs could get exposure/traffic online.

              Not that you necessarily asked this, but i think the biggest way to make an impact in my opinion, is through a low cost spay neuter program. The one in our area has been such a wonderful asset to low income families, the general public, rescue groups,... it's awesome. They help both pets and the feral cat population greatly.
              Another big impact for one's time in my opinion is helping to network the dogs at animal control facilities. Not necessarily the facebook spamming that goes on (which sometimes bothers me because they seem not interested that the dogs go to quality, appropriate homes, just that they're out. Having seen some of the situations dogs go to from the pound, I can say the screening process isn't really.... sufficient. Also many fb crossposters also do a lot of bashing of the facilities that is unwarranted and hateful. Sorry! Tangent!!) The networking that i think is most crucial is getting the dogs online in the first place, taking really good flattering photos writing accurate descriptive bios of the dogs. Also, if the county doesn't have a website, convincing them to get on petfinder at the least. Rural animal controls HAVE to get their animals online if they want to see an increase in adoptions and rescues. Even, or perhaps especially, rescue groups don't have the time to drive out to rural animal controls just to look at what's available. Get them online!
              OK tangential soap box speech over! ;-)

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              • #8
                bit619, I think you're right about networking for an animal shelter. The shelter in the next county over has a group that publicizes their dogs. I'm not a fan of the way they do it...saying will die tomorrow for instance, when I know the shelter has a 1% kill rate. I just pulled a sheltie a couple of weeks ago that we wouldn't have known about if not for the group publicizing and posting photos.

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                • #9
                  Same, with the difficult time shutting up.

                  I am a former employee/manager of a shelter where I worked as an Adoption Counselor while in college, then eventually started clinic work and left as medical manager. It is where I met my current roommate and subsequent best friends....I don't think I hang out with a single person that isn't a rescue nut like me anymore! Roommate and I fostered MANY dogs, and ultimately stopped when we'd foster failed three a piece.

                  Now I work night shift at a surgery clinic, so I'll occasionally foster bottlefeeders or tiny stuff I can take with me and easily feed, but no more adults in this house--inn is full!

                  Rescue has really changed my life forever, I can't imagine not being involved.

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