NORTHIAM based charity Blue Cross is urging animal lovers to come forward and volunteer to foster a needy pet.
The charity says volunteers are badly needed to help it cope with the over 2,000 stray and abandoned pets taken in at Blue Cross rehoming centres last year and says the fostering scheme is one of its newest ways to increase the number of animals it can help.
The Blue Cross is looking for volunteers who live within an hour’s drive of their Northiam based rehoming centre and are able to care for pets in their homes on a short term basis, until they are ready to find a permanent home.
Jonathan Ramsden, volunteer coordinator at Blue Cross in Northiam, said: “With ever increasing numbers of pets being given up and abandoned, foster volunteers are a really important way for us to be able to help as many homeless animals as possible.”
Jonathan continued: “The animals our fosterers care for are often kittens and puppies who really benefit from spending their first few weeks in a real home, pets who are poorly and need some time to recover or those who aren’t coping well in the kennel environment.”
Volunteer Lesley Davis decided to become a foster carer for Blue Cross when she lost her dog and missed having pets around the house.
Lesley said: “We didn’t want to have another pet of our own but the house felt lonely without any animals and after talking to the staff at the Blue Cross rehoming centre, I decided to become a foster volunteer.
“The first animal we fostered was a pregnant cat. We had her for a few weeks before she gave birth – she almost had her kittens on my lap! It was lovely to watch them grow. It was an incredible experience that we would never have had otherwise”
Although Lesley was worried about being too attached to the pets she fosters, she says that hasn’t happened. One of the main reasons is that she got to meet all of their potential new owners. She explained: “It’s such a lovely feeling when you see people with the animals and you know they are going to lovely homes.”
Foster volunteers should have experience of caring for pets and cat fosterers will need a separate room where the cats can be housed.