This month is Foster February at The Mayhew and we are singing our praises for our amazing dog and cat foster carers who take care of animals whilst we look for their forever homes. We also desperately need more foster carers to look after our cats and dogs. Could you be a foster carer or know someone who can?
Some dogs and cats can get very stressed when staying in a shelter environment. We do the best we can to alleviate their stress, however, some animals are just not happy in a shelter. By being placed in a foster home they are more settled in a home environment so they become more relaxed and their true personalities start to show.
Our foster carers not only help the dogs and cats they look after, but they also help us to help more animals. Every cat and dog that is fostered outside of The Mayhew will free up a space for another homeless cat or dog. To find out more about fostering, click here.
It’s a very rewarding experience to be a foster carer. Read on to find out why our foster carers are passionate about what they do…
“We found out about fostering dogs at The Mayhew’s Open Day a few years ago. We have regular commitments which made it impractical and unfair to have a dog of our own, so fostering seemed like the ideal solution. We have had fantastic dogs in our care. Janet, Dog Foster Coordinator at The Mayhew, seems to know which dog will suit us best (and vice versa!).
All our dogs have gone to good homes and this is the greatest pleasure and reward for us. Sometime it’s hard work, but most of the time the dogs have brought laughter and happiness to our lives and it has also made us fitter and healthier. The support we receive from The Mayhew has been brilliant.”
“I love cats and have had them for years, but we don’t have one of our own at the moment. When I was visiting the cats at The Mayhew (where I volunteer) I was touched by Ginger – a 15 year old boy, who looked so sad. It occurred to me that I could foster cats until they found a permanent home. This would free up valuable space in the Cattery and would ensure that the foster cats lived happily in a home environment. It also enables us to see what sort of home would best suit them: indoor, garden access, OK with children etc. All this is vital to matching cats to people – and isn’t as easily accomplished in a Cattery environment.
I fostered Ginger for 4 months and he was a much loved family member (albeit temporary). Would I like to have adopted him? Definitely! Have I? No. The reason is simple. By letting him go into his new permanent home I will be able to offer another cat a lot of love and comfort until their turn to be adopted comes.
Ginger found a new home and we miss him dreadfully, but he is much loved where he’s going – and I can foster another cat who doesn’t like Cattery life too much. That’s what makes me do it. The cats’ needs come before my selfish ones.”
“We have had dogs for the best part of the last 40 years and last year we lost our lovely Border Collie at the age of 14 following a battle with pancreatitis. We missed not having a dog around but did not really want the full time commitment of another one for the next 10 – 15 years. We got in touch with Janet, the Dog Foster Coordinator at The Mayhew, about fostering and we came in to meet Pippa, a Bulldog who needed fostering as she was unhappy in kennels.
She was lovely and it was a joy to see how happy she was in a home environment and we had a lot of fun with her on long walks near Alexandra Palace. It was very rewarding to see her enjoying life again and she had real character. Seeing a dog who had had a rotten time of it for the first 4 years of her life bounding around with such joy is the best thing in the world. It was no surprise that the first people who came to see her fell in love and adopted her!”
Watch the video below to see Pippa enjoying life with her foster carers.
“Fostering has been the most amazing experience. The staff at The Mayhew could not have made it easier, providing complete instructions, food, litter, cat toys and the loveliest kitty I have ever met. It makes such a difference having such a happy ball of fluff around the house. I seem to have fallen into the trap of falling completely in love with Barbie, and don’t think I will be giving her back!”
“Paddy is an 11-year-old Terrier who is on long-term foster with me due to ill health. Being the Animal Welfare Manager at The Mayhew, I have plenty of experience with animals that need extra special care. I foster him and other dogs who require long term fostering because it gives the dog time out of the kennel environment (which can be stressful for some dogs due to being in close proximity to other dogs and lots of barking) and it frees up space in the kennels for other dogs.
A relaxed home environment and routine gives a much better picture of what the dog is really like. They have one person to focus upon who can address any unwanted habits that have been acquired, maintain housetraining and general good manners. I have two other dogs and a cat so my foster animals get a good introduction to calm animals and absorb the good habits shown by their housemates.”
“We really enjoy fostering and it is great to be able to help The Mayhew, especially during kitten season. We have taken care of lots of different cats and kittens like Mrs Goggins here. Feral kittens are especially fun to have around and socialising them is very rewarding. We also like having cats to stay, it is wonderful taking care of a sensible older cat who wants to sit on your lap and spend their time relaxing about the house.”
“We absolutely love dogs in my family but for various reasons we are unable to have a dog of our own. Fostering has been the most fantastic experience for us – it gives us a ‘doggie-fix’ and at the same time we know we are helping each dog on its way to a new home.”
“We can only help one or two cats by adopting them, but we can help dozens and dozens of cats who may have struggled to find a new home by fostering them.”
We are always in need to new foster carers to help us care for our animals. To find out more about fostering and to apply to become a foster carer, click here.
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