Hello everyone! Today I decided to share with you an experience that changed my life forever and that I believe, could change yours too. So, as you might know from my first blog post, I have been volunteering at the Montreal SPCA for quite some time now. I always had animals and saw them as my family, so when I realised the lack of help for the ones in need, I couldn’t do anything else than help the best way I could.
I decided to research online what was the best way to help and which department in shelters was the most in need. That’s when I discovered that the best way for me to volunteer was as a Foster Family. You might be like me at the beginning, and wonder what did Foster stand for, or what this volunteering work implied. So I will briefly explain it to you, so you can get a better understanding, and hopefully participate even more!
A foster is when a person decides to host an animal for a certain period of time ( it might be 2 weeks to 3 months). This animal might be available for fostering for many reasons. For exemple, the animal might have health issues that make it impossible for him to stay in a shelter, behavioral problems , or he could also be in judiciar process waiting for his judgment in a cage at the shelter for long periods of time. These are all reasons that prevent these poor pets from being put up for adoption and having the chance to find a forever home. These fosters help to rehabilitate them and make them feel loved during the time they would be stressed out and stuck in a shelter. Now I will share with you personal experiences I had since starting to volunteer!
As I followed all the posts online searching for pets I could rehabilitate, I saw a cat with two newborn kittens, found in a street that needed to be rescued right away, before they got contamined, by other pets in the shelter (since they couldn’t be vaccinated). I immediately wrote an email, and came to rescue them the next day. At first I was extremely anxious , as the employees warned me that the kittens might get sick easily, and that I had to weight them two times per day in order to be sure they ate well. Even if the first night I had no sleep, monitoring them and making sure they ate properly, it was the most amazing experience ever!
At first the adult cat had no trust whatsoever, ran from us, hid in the closet and didn’t even let us pet her, but after 3 weeks of cohabitation, she became totally different! She always purred when we were around wanting attention and cuddles and came to sleep in my bed each night even with her kittens. It was amazing for me to see how an animal’s trust could change his personality, and how an amazing bond of gratitude and frienship can be made. As time passed, the kittens started to walk by themselves, play in all the house and well, as you might imagine, climb on everything they possibly could, from leather chairs, to the couch to even the bed frame during the night! They even began to have heir own specific personnalities which was amazing to see, because when we rescued them they didn’t even have their eyes open. After two months of fostering, teaching them how to play with humans and going for their vaccination appointments each two weeks, it was time, and they were ready for adoption.
As you might imagine I cried for the whole day when giving them back, from happiness, because they could now find a forever home, but also from the difficult time I had separating myself from them after all that journey. Because they were amazing cats and now, even trained for their future homes, they got the chance to be adopted the day after, which made me extremely grateful and happy.
After this amazing and eye-opening experience, during a visit at the SPCA, I had the chance to see a dog, with an extreme anxiety and fear problem, because of the abuse given by it’s previous owner. She needed an emergency rescue, because she was still in judiciar process and had now been a prisoner of the shelter for quite some time (almost an year). As you might know me by now, I couldn’t resist the look in her eyes and took her home immediately, hoping I could give her the love she deserved.
At the present moment, I still have her, and I am proud to say that her anxiety and fear have now fully disappeared and that she is the most amazing and affectuous dog ever! ( I would love to post a million pictures with her, but since her case is still in court I am not allowed). She can now walk on a leash, take the elevator, even play normally with other dogs and do the basic commands like Sit!
As you might see, fostering can be an amazing solution to save plenty of animals during the year, without adopting them all and having a house full of pets, or it can be ideal for people that have free time only during a certain period of the year! I hope my story about fostering will encourage you to do the same or even just help shelters in your area, because I can guarantee that the satisfaction you feel when giving those animals to forever loving homes is the best feeling in the world.
Thank you for reading my blog and I will see you in my next one, where I will explain how pageants empower women!
Wising you all the best!
Iulia-Miss Montreal District World 2019