By BERNADETTE KAZMARSKI
No animal likes to spend time in a cage. Any shelter will tell you that an animal who has spent time prior to adoption in a foster home is much more likely to be adopted and be relaxed about the transition to a forever home.
FosterCat, Inc. is exactly what it says it is—an organization that fosters cats until they can find a forever home. There is no shelter, but a system of homes and people who are glad to open their hearts to a cat in need. Everything in the organization is done by volunteers, and all fundraising goes either into direct care for the cats in foster or to promoting the organization to find new foster homes or to place cats.
The organization was founded in 2000 by a group of individuals who volunteered at shelters and who saw adult cats spending weeks or months in cages, often becoming less adoptable all the time as they became less socialized and more stressed, and sometimes not transitioning well to a permanent home after living in a cage, returned to the shelter for behavior issues related to stress.
Fostering cats, most importantly, saves their lives because they are no longer in danger of euthanasia from overcrowding in shelters. Secondly, it keeps them in a good frame of mind while they wait for their dream home to come along, and if they have any health issues they can be more closely attended in a foster home. Fostering families can vouch for their personality in a much more realistic way.
FosterCat and their fostering families and volunteers
FosterCat screens potential foster homes with an application and home visit, and is set up to support the families who foster with medications, food and litter as needed plus any veterinary expenses associated with fostering the cat. How could anyone lose? The kitty gets a safe temporary home and a person who loves cats gets to love a kitty, and is supported in the cat’s care.
The volunteers of FosterCat get cats out into the public as often as possible to increase chances of adoption, participating in local “Adopt-a-thon” events and utilizing the cat adoption programs at PetSmart and Petco. To a certain extent they have worked with rescue organizations to administer adoptions by securing space at offsite adoption places and interviewing prospective adoptive families. They also maintain their own website and Facebook page of adoptable cats, encouraging potential adopters to browse for their next cat. All cats have been spayed or neutered, tested for feline leukemia and vaccinated before they go to their adoptive home.
Volunteers for the organization don’t have to foster cats in order to assist. The list of volunteer activities is long and varied, from driving cats to vet appointments to helping organize the annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser.
FosterCat needs more foster homes to save more lives. If you’re interested in becoming a foster family for FosterCat, you can visit FosterCat’s website at www.fostercat.org and visit “Become a Foster Home” under “How You Can Help”.
The website also includes alumni stories from adopters who have reported back months or even years after the adoption, and a memorial page for any kitty, not just alumni. You can also make a donation online or by mail.
FosterCat’s Annual Spaghetti Dinner
The annual spaghetti dinner is the organization’s main fundraiser each year. Join the board, volunteers, foster families and friends of FosterCat on Saturday, September 13, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 1907 Broadway Avenue, Beechview, PA 15216.
The menu includes spaghetti with a choice of either meat or meatless sauce, salad, rolls, beverage and dessert. Takeout orders will be available.
Helping to raise more funds in addition to the meal prices, Chinese auction items including restaurant and other gift certificates donated by local businesses will be on display, and you can also buy tickets for the 50/50 raffle. Cat toys and other items will be offered for sale at the event and Ebi Fountains has agreed to donate a ceramic water fountain for the auction.
If a business would like to donate a gift certificate or basket of goods to the Chinese auction table, FosterCat would welcome a donation —these items need not be feline-oriented. Restaurant gift certificates are always good, along with grooming salons, hair salons and spa certificates, and even tickets to events and performances.
Also, this venue has plenty of vendor space so if you sell merchandise that would be of interested to cats and their people, please visit the website or Facebook page or contact Dianne Gruendl at [email protected].