A Devon charity is appealing to local animal lovers to become volunteer pet fosterers, to help them cope with increasing numbers of unwanted and abandoned animals.
Blue Cross pet charity is looking for volunteers who live within an hour’s drive of their Tiverton based rehoming centre and are able to care for pets in their homes on a short term basis, until they are ready to find a permanent home.
Jennie Ford decided to become a Blue Cross foster volunteer after she lost her much loved cat and missed having a pet around the house.
Jennie said: “I wasn’t sure about getting another cat of my own, as now I’m retired I want to be able to go away without having to worry about a pet. When I visited the Blue Cross centre in Tiverton I saw the poster about becoming a foster carer and it seemed like the perfect solution.”
Jennie is now caring for her first foster pet, eight-year-old cat Gizzy. Gizzy was getting stressed out by life in the cattery at the Tiverton centre, which meant he was being overlooked by people looking for a new cat. However, after spending some time in Jennie’s home, he has really blossomed.
Lauren Chilton, Volunteer Coordinator at Blue Cross Tiverton, said: “With more and more pets being given up and abandoned, foster volunteers are a really important way for us to be able to help as many homeless animals as possible.”
“Gizzy is a great example of what a difference our fosterers make. When he was here at the rehoming centre, Gizzy was so shy and nervous, but at Jennie’s house he’s really relaxed. He seems like a completely different cat, so hopefully the chance to show his true personality in a real home environment will help potential new owners to see what a lovely boy he is.”
Blue Cross fosterers often look after kittens and puppies who really benefit from spending their first few weeks in a real home, as well as pets who are poorly and need some time to recover and those like Gizzy, who don’t cope as well in the kennel environment.
Jennie added: “Friends have said that I’ll end up keeping Gizzy myself, but I know that if I help him move on to a new family, I’ll be able to carry on helping more pets to find happy homes by being a fosterer. It’s really rewarding.”
Foster volunteers should have experience of caring for pets, but currently have no other pets at home. Cat fosterers will need a separate room where the cats can be housed. If you would like to find out more about being a Blue Cross pet fosterer, please call the Tiverton rehoming centre on 0300 777 1560 or email [email protected].
Last year, Blue Cross rehoming centres found happy new homes for over 8,000 pets, funded entirely by public donations. To find more about pets looking for homes or to make a donation, visit www.bluecross.org.uk
Notes to Editors
• Images of Jennie and Gizzy available on request, please contact the media office.
• The Blue Cross pet rehoming centre in Tiverton has been helping homeless and abandoned pets across North Devon and parts of Somerset since 1985. The centre rehomes hundreds of cats and dogs every year and also has a veterinary welfare clinic with provides treatment to pets of eligible owners on low incomes (call the centre to find out more).
• To contact the centre, call 0300 777 1560 or drop in at Chilton Gate, Bickleigh, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 8RS (check the website or call ahead for opening times).
• Blue Cross has been dedicated to helping poorly, injured and abandoned pets for over 100 years. We opened the world’s first animal hospital in 1906 and since then our doors have never closed to sick and homeless animals.
• Today we run four animal hospitals and 12 rehoming centres across the UK, which provide treatment and seek happy homes for thousands of cats, dogs, small pets and horses every year.
• Blue Cross actively campaigns to improve all aspects of animal welfare, working with the government, schools and others to improve the lives of pets and their owners. For more information, please visit www.bluecross.org.uk.
Sophia Khan, Blue Cross Media Officer: 020 7932 4070 / [email protected].