The boys survived their ‘alterations’ this week and hopefully, two of them will be moving on soon. Chett and Poe have an adopter, they’re vaccinated, dewormed (multiple times), microchipped, combo-tested (neg), and now, neutered. They are ready to go!
The Humane Society of Shenandoah County charges $175 for kittens and $150 for cats in adoption fees. I’m pretty new to this cat game, but even I can see that adoption fees don’t begin to cover the cost of saving these kitties.
And the ones who are not adopted out (Twain, Hemingway, and Harper) will be transferred to another rescue north or east of us who will be better able to place them. As far as I know, those rescues will not pay a ‘pull fee’ (the amount charged by many shelters to rescues to take their animals), so that’s an even bigger loss (in terms of money).
I’m still learning my way around the cat rescue world, and at first pass it’s clear to me that it is even more expensive than saving dogs. I’ve met a few of the women who run the HHSC and I’m in awe. They sacrifice so much – gobs of time, any kind of personal life, their homes (and vehicles), their fortunes (what’s left of them), and most certainly, their hearts, in order to do what they do.
Absolute honesty, here…I couldn’t do it. It just seems so hopeless. For every cat they save, five more turn up. Despite taking vans full of cats and kittens to be spayed/neutered each week, they are drowning in kittens with requests to take more.
I know they are making progress, but it is just so incremental, pretty much microscopic in the big picture. But what else can they do?
Now that I know just a tiny little bit about all this, I can’t not help. I’m not a ‘cat person’, but these women are amazing, and I will plant my feet firmly in their corner. I imagine there will be kittens crashing my zoom meetings and trashing my office, and cats mewling on my sun porch and tormenting Otis from now until eternity (as the cat problem could take that long to fix).
Still, I’m a dog person at heart and I have to say that dogs seem much more appreciative of you saving them. The kittens scream at me, trail me around demanding I feed them NOW, climb up my legs leaving them littered with scratch marks, and bite me whenever I try to rub their bellies. Foster dogs never do any of those things (except Flannery, she did bite you when you rubbed her belly!). It’s a good thing they’re so darn cute.
But then again, foster dogs don’t use a litter box, and they wake me up with their barking, chew up my furniture, annoy Gracie, and take up a lot more space.
It’s pretty much killing me not to have a foster dog (or five) at the moment. I understand logically that we are in the process of moving (again) and about to take our vacation, but that doesn’t stop the pull of my heart when I hear daily about the desperate situation in our southern shelters.
Things are really bad, folks. The worst I’ve seen them. I’ve written about why it’s so bad post-pandemic in as many ways as I can. I grow increasingly frustrated that so many people in this country are unaware of the crisis, which is likely to get much worse as our economy struggles and the housing and rental market continues to be bonkers. Yes, there are so many bigger issues facing our nation, but in my tiny world view all I see are the nonstop pleas for help from struggling shelters and rescues.
So no worries, once we are moved into our new place I will have my own tiny cottage for fostering! I will share all about it in a future post. It’s in pretty rough shape now, so project number one at the new place is gutting the cottage and redesigning it as a writing studio and foster house.
Until then, you’ll have to put up with stories about my feline foster adventures! Although, you just never know, a dog might sneak in here sooner than expected. Everyone knows I’m a pushover for a dog in need.
Until Each One Has a Home,
For information on me, my writing, and books, visit CaraWrites.com.
If you’d like regular updates of all our foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips, and occasional foster cat updates (!) be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.
And if you’d like to know where all these dogs come from and how you can help solve the crisis of too many unwanted dogs in our shelters, visit WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org and subscribe to our blog where we share stories of our travels to shelters, rescues, and dog pounds.
If you can’t get enough foster dog stories, check out my book: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs. Or its follow up that takes you to the shelters in the south One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues.
I love to hear from readers and dog-hearted people! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.