Blue Cross blog
'Fostering for Blue Cross is a very special experience'Posted on 23 Jul 2012
Looking after eight bouncing puppies and five playful kittens is one mammoth feat but it’s also something that devoted Blue Cross foster carer Lesley Davis wouldn’t swap in a million years, as she tells editor Natasha Kleanthous…
The morning routine at Lesley Davis’s house has never been quite like it before.
Never mind putting the kettle on and popping some bread in the toaster, there’s eight enthusiastic puppies bouncing around and one rather tired mum that all need some attention.
First they have to go out to the garden to do their business and then, now that they’re weaned, giving them breakfast is more like organising a banquet.
For the last few weeks, Blue Cross foster carer Lesley and her husband Peter have been helping dog Tass care for her litter.
And they’re no stranger to looking after abandoned and homeless pets because they’ve also helped to nurse a cat and her five kittens and a young shih tzu who needed a place to stay before being rehomed.
Becoming pet foster carers
Lesley and Peter decided to become foster carers for Blue Cross when they lost their dog and missed having pets around the house.
She says: “We didn’t want to have another pet of our own but the house felt lonely without any animals and I started thinking about fostering.
“I went to the Blue Cross Christmas fete at the Northiam rehoming centre and while I was there I asked about fostering and put my name down.”
It wasn’t too long before we got in touch with Lesley to see if she was still interested and soon she was registered as a volunteer foster carer.
Lesley says: “The first animal we fostered was a pregnant cat. We had her for a few weeks before she gave birth – she almost had her kittens on my lap!”
Lesley and Peter looked after the mum and her five kittens, Kiwi, Storm, Cookie, Chilli and Joey until they were ready to be rehomed.
She says: “We loved it – it was lovely to watch them grow. It was an incredible experience that we would never have had otherwise.”
A few weeks later Lesley received another call asking if she could take homeless dog Tass, who was pregnant.
She says: “We knew that having puppies would be a huge responsibility so Peter and I talked about it at length and decided that we wanted to do it.”
But they were in for a bit of a shock when Tass gave birth to eight pups.
Lesley says: “The first six pups arrived and I thought ‘that’s okay, we can cope with this’, but when I felt Tass I had a feeling she wasn’t finished yet. I couldn’t believe it when two more puppies arrived.”
It’s been a whirlwind few weeks and a few sleepless nights for Lesley and Peter as they looked after the puppies but it was all worth it.
She says: “It’s pretty hectic all day – a litter of puppies is hard work! But they are so rewarding and it’s been a very special experience.”
Lesley was worried that she might become too attached to the puppies but she says that hasn’t happened.
One of the main reasons is that she got to meet all of their potential new owners.
She says: “When people came to view them, the looks on their faces when they were playing with them was wonderful.
“It’s such a lovely feeling when you see people with the puppies and you know they are going to lovely homes. One woman even made a six hour journey just so she could come and see her puppy.”
The puppies have now all been reserved and will be going to their new homes in August.
Life goes on
For Lesley and Pete, life goes on and they’ll get 40 winks before preparing for the next lot of house guests.
She says: “If we’d have kept a puppy we wouldn’t have been able to foster for Blue Cross again so there was no temptation to keep one.
“The benefit of fostering is huge. It’s hard work but absolutely worth it.”
We really need more foster carers to help us look after homeless pets. If you’d like to get involved please visit our volunteering pages to find out more.