View Full Version : Fostering to Frustration

02-17-13, 12:34 PM
Only one of the rescues I work with actually reimburses me for some of the stuff I use while fostering their cats. It's angering.

I'm starting to agree with my mother in law that some people in the rescue community are going to be antisocial to you and assume the worst. One of the rescues I fostered for immediately took the cat back when I asked for some funds on my Facebook. The cat they gave me had mites and they said they would send me some medicine and they never did and then they got pissy when I said I used olive oil.

This last litter I did all on my own. Not just food, litter, medicine, cleaning, and toys, but spay/neuter surgeries, finding them homes, application processes, ugh 9_9

I've started a Go Fund Me so I can go out on my own. I've spent thousands on rescuing and our funds are gone. This will probably be my last rescue unless I can raise some money. Problem is I'm not a 501c so everyone will think its a scam anyway.

I'm just angry that so many people are cruel to animals and yet the rescues I trust (save 1) don't trust me enough but don't help me out. What do they expect?

It's no wonder they have so much trouble finding fosters and have to beg for them online.

02-17-13, 12:43 PM
That does suck big time .....I wish I could foster .....but in Ca. roommate would pitch a fit, and here in Michigan....there are 4 kitties already, and we have to keep Boris in the basement, Halo Jones on the second floor, and Barney and Fiona on the main floor.....lest there be major fur flying !

02-17-13, 01:01 PM
I guess rescue organizations don't have a reliable source of money, and they count on everyone to be donating time and money rather than asking for them. It's a sad and difficult fact, but people who aren't financially well-off (or who haven't fund-raised the money ahead of time) shouldn't be doing animal rescue.

02-17-13, 02:41 PM
It's a sad and difficult fact, but people who aren't financially well-off (or who haven't fund-raised the money ahead of time) shouldn't be doing animal rescue.
Thanks for judging me for having a heart when no one else does and making me feel like I've done something wrong.

02-17-13, 05:02 PM
I think you've done a great thing. It's not wrong. It's just financially draining to do a lot of rescue work, and the rescue organizations wouldn't survive if they reimbursed people. I applaud you for having a heart when no one else does. I have only rescued one cat in my life and feel bad for not having done more. Just the expectation that the money will be there is not an expectation that you can have.

02-17-13, 05:51 PM
I understand that, so this is sort of my last ditch effort to try. It makes me hate the world even more though.

02-17-13, 06:08 PM
I guess I'd just work with the organisation that does reimburse you.

Otherwise, if you don't have enough money to actually foster pets, just go to the shelters and help out. Play with the animals, help clean, etc.

Another thing to maybe try: Make a facebook page about animal rescue. Ask for donations in the form of food, supplies, litter, etc. Post pictures of your current foster pet, and information about them, cute stories, etc. Promote those animals, give them a personality. People could check out the photos, read a bio, etc. Promote promote promote!

Perhaps people may feel more comfortable dropping off food and supplies, because they won't have to worry about handing over cash and not trusting you to spend it on the animals. It's not like you could make money for yourself by hawking cat food. It's like giving a homeless person a bag of bread instead of a few dollars.

02-17-13, 10:09 PM
That does sound like a very frustrating situation, and I absolutely understand why you feel the way you do.

As someone who has been on the opposite end for the past 10+ years, working in the organizations themselves (and fostering), I can tell you that it's extremely difficult on both ends. We HAVE to be cautious and yes, in some cases, totally antisocial and abrasive.

When you are a foster, you get the animal after it's been pulled by animal services, given a health check (generally), and cleared to go into a foster home. When you see the places we get these animals FROM, before they're cleared, before someone makes the call that this animal is either okay to be adopted out or is going to be put down... it becomes more clear why those of us working in the organizations seem untrusting.

You as a foster parent generally don't have the misfortune of seeing the animals who never make it past animal services. If you saw those horrors, you would understand why we bristle any time we sense that someone isn't doing something our way. Is it sometimes unfair and uncalled for? Probably, yes. But you have to understand where we are coming from, what we see. We care a million times more about assuring 100% that those animals are safe, than about anyone's feelings being hurt.

In the group I work with right now we do our absolute best to clear as many potential foster parents as possible, because foster homes are very difficult to come by. And while we do the best we can to provide for those foster parents, we can't always do that. We're BEGGING vets to help us with low-cost care, and despite the generosity of many professionals in the community, we still have standing bills that add up to thousands and thousands of dollars. One day that generosity is going to run thin because we simply cannot afford to pay them back.

We have to beg local stores and individuals in the community for donations of pet food, collars, leashes, dishes, flea medication, heartworm preventative, cat litter, cat and dog toys, and office supplies like reams of paper, bleach, printer ink, manila folders, etc. We are every day scraping the very last out of every barrel we have, and it's never enough - we're digging into our own pockets too. It's not as if we're rolling around in supplies that we just don't want to give out because we're stingy. We're constantly networking in phone trees and Facebook groups trying to scrape it together for one more dog, one more litter of kittens, one more horse found tied to a tree in the middle of a field.

So yes, it's frustrating. It's frustrating for everyone. If you have an organization who you can work with and you enjoy working with them, by all means stick with them. I absolutely applaud you for trying, it warms my heart to know someone cares so much.

02-18-13, 07:42 AM
I understand all too well about the horrors of animals shelters. I see facebook posts of some animal starving or burnt to death almost every week. I don't "pull" because I'm afraid I'd hurt someone there or hurt myself.

But asking for food and such is a good idea. I'm trying to create a blog for the Baltimore area to center their animal activities, mostly events and news on activism.

02-18-13, 12:46 PM
I think that is a great idea. What we've done where I live is we have a "representative" from all of the major rescue groups in the area, and several from animal services, and we've come together in one group to pool all of our networking resources. Maybe you can help spearhead something like that in your area? It helps us all stay connected with the needs of animal services (that is, which animals are on death row, which ones need to be pulled because they won't make it to adoptables, etc.) as well as helping each other find fosters, vet care, etc.

Another thing you can try doing is fundraising. Any time there is a parade, festival, concert, etc. we take several of the adoptable dogs and we do an awareness walk. We walk the dogs in a big group, which gets a lot of people's attention, and that gives us the opportunity to talk to them about fostering/adoption, educate about good ownership, and take cash donations if they feel moved to give. It has been very successful for us in the past, and the exposure for the dogs helps them get adopted more quickly.

One more thought - have you ever been to or orchestrated an Empty Bowls event? Typically those events are for world hunger or local food pantries, but you can also do them for animal rescue resources (an Empty Dog Bowls event). The website for the grassroots movement explains the premise of the event: When you do Empty Dog Bowls, the focus of the event is on the needs of animal rescues, specifically the need for food. The proceeds of the event go directly to local shelters/rescues, specifically to take care of feeding needs. I've organized many Empty Bowls events in the past several years, and they are always very successful, especially if you coordinate the event with an art festival or holiday. Just another something to think about!