Tuesday , 12 December 2017

Fostering- Why We Choose to Say Goodbye…

Fostering- Why We Choose to Say Goodbye…

Fostering animals is one of the best and most effective ways to volunteer in animal rescue.  Many of Montreal’s animal rescue groups are foster-based, meaning they don’t have a general building or shelter location where all of the animals are kept.  Instead, they have their animals moved into temporary homes, where they stay until they are adopted.  There, they are taken in like a member of the family.  Some are emaciated or sick when they arrive in foster care, and some lack socialization.  Most of the time however, the animal simply needs to be placed somewhere where they can continue to thrive in a home environment, instead of socially deteriorating in a kennel or cage.

The most common reason most people decide that fostering isn’t for them is the fact that in the end, the animal will leave their home.  The idea of an inevitable seperation is too much to bear for a lot of people.  Why would someone take in an animal, give them love, affection and care, and then give them up?  That’s the question that we are going to try to answer. Recently,I decided to ask the volunteers and foster parents at PetitsPawz WHY? Why foster?  Why say goodbye?

Here are a few of the answers that we were able to come up with:


Fostering is very gratifying. There is no better feeling knowing you helped  at giving a cat(s) a second chance at a happy life. Their foster home is the in between shelter,where they learn how to trust humans again,especially if they were abandoned or abused. Even though saying goodbye can be hard, I sleep better knowing I did my share, and that I played a part in providing a better life for them. For those wondering if they would enjoy having a cat or dog as a pet, fostering is a perfect way to find out. And of course, should you choose to adopt your  fostercat(s),you have 1st dibs! 🙂 Fostering changed my life. I never thought such a simple act could mean the world to me, and to those little creatures.

Nancy-Ann's current foster cats Star and Moon

Andrea, on fostering a senior cat named Minou:

I have had cats my whole life but I had never fostered one. I saw a post on PetitPawz for a 12 year old beautiful female all white cat whose owner had passed away and the family wanted to euthanize her!  I immediately said I would take her! My dominant male cat wasn’t happy about sharing the space with her and I had to keep her in my room. I fell madly in love with her but felt that she deserved better than living in a room after having lived in a house. After a couple of months of her being in the room, I didn’t think it was fair to Minou so I asked PetitPawz to help me find another foster. Instead, thanks to a post on Montreal Dog Blog, someone stepped up to adopt her!

Following this news, I cried for about a week and gave her all the love and attention I could. In my heart I knew that I was doing the right thing but it didn’t make it any easier! Then her new Mommy came and I knew as soon as I met her that I had made the right decision! We spent over an hour together and she just wanted to know all she could about her new baby! When she decided it was time for her and Minou to make their journey home, I hugged her and thanked her for giving Minou her furever home.   I knew her new Mommy was going to be able to give her far more than I could and that she would have free run of the house being the only kitty.  In the end, thats what really mattered to me. Well, I was absolutely right. Minou is now living like a queen! I found out that this is the reason that you foster!  To save a life and to find them a wonderful loving home. You will get attached and it will hurt when you have to let them go, but your heart will be filled with gratitude once you see that the person adopting them will love them just as much as you did. There is no better feeling.

Andrea's previous foster cat Minou


I never thought I was going to be strong enough to foster animals.  I had the impression that after a few months, I was totally going to give in and become what is known in the rescue world as a “foster fail”.  This is when foster parents decide to adopt their foster animals.  It turns out I was wrong. It has been two years since I began fostering cats and in those two years, I have already said goodbye to 7 wonderful, unique and loving cats.  I ask myself every day how I do it and the only answer that I can come up with is that there is such a HUGE demand for good foster homes in Montreal right now, and many homes stop fostering after their first foster fail.  In Montreal, tens of thousands of cats are literally waiting in line for someone save them. If I chose to adopt a cat that I was fostering, I would have to stop fostering.  As a result, another homeless cat will miss out on being saved. In my mind, this would be a little bit selfish on my part, and I would lose sight of what I set out to do in the first place, which is save many animals.  On the other hand, as soon as a foster is adopted there is an opportunity to save another life.  I always have to keep this one thing in mind at all times, as it motivates me to keep going.  Does it brake my heart to see them go?  Of course. Luckily, I have the satisfaction of knowing that my fosters are going to loving families where they will be spoiled and well taken care of.  I get updates on my previous foster cats on a regular basis with lots of photos so I know that they are doing well.  In my mind, saying Goodbye is the best part of fostering.  It has made me so much stronger as a person, and has given me a real purpose in life.

Arthur is Laura's 5th foster cat


In the end, we all came to the same conclusion: Fostering changed our lives for the better.

Do you want to now how you can start fostering at PetitsPawz? Email us with any questions you may have! info@petitspawz.net

-Laura Dextrase





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  1. You get to know these animals and help them find their perfect home. Foster provide as much as they can, but sometimes it’s still not that animals “perfect” place. Foster homes usually have other animals, sometimes fosters want a home with 100% attention, which is very rarely possible in a foster home. Sometimes they tolerate your pets or even like the company, but then you find a home with another pet and they are best friends right away.

    Then one of the biggest reasons is that there are so many animals in shelters and being put down…when you let go of one you open up your home (and heart) for another who might never have got a chance.

  2. One of our cats, Harley, is from PetitPaws and came from a wonderful foster home. The people taking care of him were great and we are very grateful for them and how they rescued him from the streets at just 3 months old.

    Now that we have put down our last (of 3) elder cat, we are left with Harley (who’s a beast already at only 9 months old, weighing in at 13 lbs) and Abby, about a year old, who was rescued by a co-worker, along with her first litter of 4 kittens. They are now a bonded pair after just a few months together.

    We have started discussing perhaps fostering. We would like to give back some of what we have received (in Harley) and give that opportunity to another cat as well.

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