The following is from the Summer 2010 issue of Protecting Animals, American Humane’s quarterly journal for animal welfare professionals. Used by permission. To learn more, visit www.AmericanHumane.org.
More than 3,000 kittens and cats have been successfully placed in foster homes since the Cat Care Society’s foster program began in 1987 in Lakewood, CO. Adoption Manager Abbi Collins says that an average of 250 kittens are sent to foster homes each year during kitten season, which runs from February through November in Colorado.
We advertise for volunteers in local papers two to three times per year, in our newsletter, on our website and with Metro Volunteers, a local nonprofit that helps match volunteers with service organizations.
Our foster program consists of no more than 18 volunteers. Foster volunteers must go through our volunteer orientation and be interviewed by the volunteer coordinator before they are accepted into the foster program. They also must meet our criteria, including having a separate room in their home where they can confine the foster kittens, having all resident animals spayed or neutered and vaccinated, and attending a foster orientation meeting.
Kittens are not adopted from foster homes; they all must re-enter the shelter and be adopted from the shelter.
We ask our volunteers to provide all food, litter and other essentials for the kittens they foster. On occasion, we can provide food and litter if we have an overstock. Our donors help us with medical care for cats and kittens that need extensive surgeries. Virtually all of our funding comes from private individuals, with only about 10 percent from grants.