A mother shares why her family became fosters to puppies and kittens.
By Tamara Hart
Photos: Tamara Hart (BumpMeetsBaby.com)
Q: Which do you like fostering — Puppies or Kittens?
Tamara: We’ve fostered both, and while I love puppy breath, kittens are a better match for the amount of time we have to give towards fostering, especially when the kids are in school. Over the summer we could probably foster more puppies.
Q: Do you get to name them?
Tamara: Yes. It’s really fun to come up with different names. We went through a phase where each litter was a different Disney movie and another phase of Pokémon names. We got our current litter of bottle babies the day before Thanksgiving, so we named them, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Turkey and Casserole. The animals are too young to learn the name so there isn’t any harm in naming them whatever you want as most adopters change the name anyways.
Q: Is it difficult to be a foster
Tamara: The number one reason I hear from other people about why they couldn’t foster is “I wouldn’t want to give them back.” Yes, you do get somewhat attached. They are sweet and you put a lot of love into them. However, after you’ve fostered a few different times you realize how many more lives you are saving by fostering. Why save one life when you can save 100?!
Q: What has fostering taught your kids?
Tamara: That caring for another life isn’t easy, convenient or optional. Responsibility and accountability matter. There is more to life than your own wants/needs.
Fostering is a family affair. We take great pride getting these kittens and puppies use to being held, played with, and accustomed to normal household noises like vacuums and blow dryers. We wanted to make sure that when they went to their forever home they would feel at ease and their owners would have a calm, well-adjusted animal, which would lessen the likelihood of being returned back to the shelter for behavioral issues.
Q: After 65 animals do the kids get tired of it?
Tamara: Yes. I think we all do. But it’s okay to take a break when you need to.
Q: What about the other animals in the house?
Tamara: They have been an asset and actually help the fosters learn to socialize!
Q: Does it cost any money to foster?
Tamara: NOPE. Charleston Animal Society is amazing at supplying us with a litter box, litter, food and even blankets/toys. A great benefit to fostering with Charleston animal society is their support. From the foster coordinators, to the online community of other foster parents you constantly have help and encouragement. I also love that they have health check appointments and we get the support from the vets along the way. They treat each and every animal with so much respect and love its incredible.
Q: What would you change about fostering if you could?
Tamara: I would make the standard of care that Charleston Animal Society has for fostering the baseline for all shelters. Becoming a foster is easy, just go to CharlestonAnimalSociety.org/foster.