Deb has fostered over 25 cats and kittens as a foster parent for the Chester County SPCA. She recently shared her story with Pepper’s Paws for our Focus on Fostering feature. “I got into fostering really, one day at the SPCA. I overheard one of the workers saying that they had a large number of kittens and mothers and no one to foster them” Deb tells us. “I thought a long time about it and knew that I had enough love and time to foster. I love animals. I love caring for them. I love when they are adopted into their forever home. The first time I met the person adopting one of my fosters I was thrilled. It was a little girl and her parents. I knew that all the hard work of fostering them just paid off in that moment."
Deb normally fosters the kittens until they are able to be neutered or spayed or until there is space for them at the shelter. Fostering cats and kittens is an important support that volunteers provide for shelters and rescues. It helps socialize the kittens, making them more adoptable and it also helps the mother cats recover by living in a home where it is much calmer and more comfortable than a busy shelter.
The SPCA gives Deb everything that she needs. “When you bring your fosters home, you get litter, food, toys, litter box, food bowls and water bowls. You can always contact the SPCA and they are willing to answer any question or concern you have. They are the most patient, helpful and supportive people you will ever meet. “
Deb feels that more people would foster if they realized how personally rewarding it is. “Fostering is the most rewarding and hardest thing I’ve ever done. When a cat or kitten is sick, if they pass away, that is the hardest thing. When they get adopted, when they purr for the first time or play with a toy for the first time - that is the most rewarding time!” Bringing the cats back to the shelter is also hard. But Deb knows that as much as she loves each and every cat and kitten, her job is to provide them a wonderful temporary home until they find a permanent home. Because she’s done her job the cats and kittens she fosters will go on to have a great new life, and she will always have wonderful memories of them. When she drops them off at the shelter she knows they say, "You took great care of me, and I thank you for that." It helps that the people at the Chester County SPCA keep her informed and let her know when her fosters are adopted. “It is a wonderful working relationship between the fostering parent and the SPCA.”
So, will Deb continue to foster? “You bet! Because I foster, I can help save another life. Fostering - the toughest job you’ll ever love.”