Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fostering: It's Good for the Soul

The last time I went into the cat rooms, this caught my eye. I mean, how could it not? Click to enlarge, it's pretty cute.
Being a foster home for animals is great in a lot of ways, and I don't know why more people don't do it.
Want to get a pet, but you're not sure if you can handle the commitment? Foster! If it doesn't work out, you give it back anyway.
Want to show your children the miracle of life?
Foster a litter of kittens (or rabbits, or hamsters). Instead of adding to the homeless pet problem, you'll be saving lives.
In the same vein, want to teach your children responsibility?
This is the kitten that goes along with that card up there. Just another ordinary black kitten, among hundreds of cats. But because he was in a foster home and they made the effort, he suddenly stands out. People will stop to read about Lewis and how much fun he is, how playful. His chances for adoption can only be improved by that sheet.
Fostering saves lives, improves lives, and enriches your life. Everyone should do it!
On that note, we did a photo shoot with our remaining fosters the other day. Minerva's babies are all grown up! The last time I posted about them, they were only a month old. Now they're over two months old, and while they still look young, they're basically full grown. That's Hedwig up there, and she'll be heading back to the shelter on Sunday.
Dobby is probably the cutest, and the calmest. I think he's my favourite - look at that face! He's very thoughtful when you hold him, looking around carefully before taking a step, while his siblings dash about like lunatics.
Tonks was the calmest when they were younger, and now he's totally nuts. Well, no, not totally - none of them ever bite (thank goodness). But he will need some more work before he's ready for adoption. He really likes to squeal and sound like he's dying when you try to pick him up, which is a bit off-putting.
Flitwick, like Tonks, needs some work because he's quite skittish. The good thing with hamsters is that they only take a few days of socializing to calm down. I'm hoping all of these guys will be ready to go for the Kennel Cafe adopt-a-thon.
Bellatrix (formerly known as Padfoot) is going to need a secure cage because I have never seen a hamster so determined to escape. Once she's out of the cage, she's a sweetheart with lovely silky fur.
This is our third hamster litter (fifth foster litter in total), but I never stop being amazed at how they can go from looking like aliens to gorgeous, fluffy hammies. This litter really showed variety - each one looks totally different, and none of them looked like mom!
I'm going to give the baby bunnies their own post but here's a preview - look how big they are! They actually look like mini adults now.

When I was a kid, I was always pleading with my mom to let my rabbit or my gerbil or my hamster have babies. Because my mom is smart and ethical, she said no. Now I get to raise all these babies without any strings attached!
Fostering - it's highly underrated!


Anonymous said...

Is the shelter in contact with any veterinarians that could neuter small animals? I love the boy rats but I've got girls at home.

Caroline said...

Wow Laura, you could become a professional hamster photographer, I've never seen such fabulous pics of Hammies. I love the black ones, they have such personality.

Laura HP said...

Anonymous - We don't have any shelter vets that currently neuter small animals, but there are some in Toronto. Unfortunately, we can't do it in the shelter unless we have a vet already who is experienced (and we don't).

Caroline - Thanks! It's a joint effort between my mom and I. Haha, the black ones make me laugh, they're complete opposites. Dobby is so sweet and slow, and Bellatrix is all over the place.