Could you help Blue Cross as urgent plea goes out for pet foster carers?
- Credit: Blue Cross
Animal charity Blue Cross is sending out an urgent plea for foster carers to help look after cats, dogs and small animals.
The charity’s rehoming centre in Wherstead, near Ipswich, needs volunteer foster carers who can welcome pets into their home, including rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters.
Jennie Paige, operational supervisor at Blue Cross Suffolk, said: “We rely on our amazing foster carers to provide temporary loving homes for the animals in our care, usually whilst they are recovering from illness, injury or are just in need of some TLC and socialisation.
“To know you have helped an animal and to see them blossom and ultimately head off to a loving new home is very rewarding.”
Jenna Silk has fostered cats and dogs for Blue Cross since March last year, when lockdown began. She said: "Fostering has made our house feel like home again during a tough year.
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"Getting to know each character is such a joy and a privilege. Saying goodbye isn't so sad at all when it's followed by updates of them thriving in their new home."
Cat fosterer Adeleve Allaton said: “Knowing that you have helped an animal while it finds its forever home is so rewarding. It’s always interesting getting to know their different personalities and odd quirks.”
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Many pets who come into the care of the charity have been found abandoned. Others have been signed over for rehoming by owners who are unable to keep their pet for reasons including relationship breakdowns, job loss, illness or death of an owner or family member.
Animals may also be recovering from operations, be too young to go straight into the charity’s rehoming centres or simply be nervous and need time in a home to build up their confidence.
To be considered as a foster carer, you will need to be at least 18 and live within a 45-minute travel time of the Blue Cross rehoming centre at Bourne Hill, Wherstead.
It's important you are at home most of the day so you can monitor the pets regularly, and that you have a quiet, reasonably-sized spare room. You will also need to have your own car so you can transport pets to and from the centre and to appointments at the vet.
People with experience of looking after pregnant mum cats and nursing kittens are especially needed.
Pets will need feeding, cleaning, socialising, grooming and some may require medication. All equipment and food will be provided by Blue Cross, along with virtual online training, which includes communicating with the centre by video call - so you need to be confident about using technology such as Teams and Zoom.
During lockdown, home checks and training will be carried out remotely. For more information contact Blue Cross Suffolk on 0300 7771480