We at Young-Williams Animal Center are very fortunate to have some amazing foster families. Our foster families allow us to save more lives by opening up space in the shelter and by helping to rehabilitate animals that need special attention. Today we are featuring one of our fosters, the McDonald family:
“So…. we are still very new to the foster program seeing as we have only fostered twice now ( 8 kittens total). First, a little background info on our family – we had a dog, cat, & kitten come into our lives 11 years ago. It was similar to the Homeward Bound story except these pets showed up at our house at the “dead end” of the street and decided to call it home. We found it very odd that 3 animals could show up together at the same time and we tried to find out if they were missing but to no avail so we decided to adopt them ourselves. They were aptly named Charlie, Lucy, & Linus. We lost Lucy (our cat) about 2 years ago to an illness & Linus (the kitten @ 10 yrs of age) disappeared last summer. We tried everything to find him – including posters, reward offer, Craigs List postings, etc. These efforts also included visiting Young Williams on a regular basis during the month of June. I guess the employees there saw me often enough to realize that I obviously cared for & missed our beloved Linus; she suggested that perhaps I might be interested in volunteering with the foster program. We were unsuccessful in locating Linus but as memorial to him, thought that maybe we could help out other cats/kittens in need. We received our first litter of 6 kittens shortly after. My two daughters absolutely loved it! I have to admit that even though it involved some work, it was worth it to see the kittens thrive & play and know that we were helping to get them closer to finding their own permanent home. However, when it came time to give back the last four kittens (after 6 weeks of foster care), it was more difficult that I first realized it would be. We did adopt one of the kittens ourselves from that first litter – Priscilla is fitting in quite nicely with her “dog-brother” Charlie. As happy as we were to be getting a new kitten, the “guilt” of leaving the other 3 behind was very difficult. I still often think about those kittens and hope that they found wonderful homes too! I just wasn’t sure that myself & my daughters could “emotionally” handle taking on the foster task again but tentatively said “yes” to Ashley’s request in November. This time it was 2 little kittens – one was able to go back after 2 weeks in foster care & was adopted immediately the very next day after bringing her in. The other one had some growing issues & there was some concern about her even making it at all since there were apparently others in her original litter which were not as fortunate. We decided to take on the “challenge” and help this little one to grow! She slowly gained weight and became a very loving & social kitten. We have a family of six, so needless to say, any kittens in our house receive lots of “hands on” attention! However, since we had this little one over the Christmas holidays last year, I have to believe that she was perhaps one of the most loved & socialized kittens in foster history. She was the center of attention at a Girl Scout Christmas Party and family Christmas dinner/parties too! Giving her back was still sad but at the same time we felt as though we had accomplished something to be proud of ! We had successfully helped her along her journey to become an adoptable kitten ! (she even made a guest appearance as pet of the week on WATE). As part of the process of returning this particular kitten, my daughters (ages 7 & 12) wrote a letter & drew a picture to be given to her new adopted family so that they would know a little bit more about her. We look forward to being able to help more kittens in the future. After fostering our 1st litter of kittens, my youngest daughter drew a picture which said “Little Cats but Big Love”. She was right.”
Diana McDonald & family
(Husband, Tim & sons, Josh & Spencer, & daughters, Amanda & Megan)
If you would like to open your home and heart up to becoming a foster parent, apply online here!