Foster carer wearing black and white top holding small grey dog while sitting on cream armchair

“Words can’t express how rewarding fostering is”

Since losing her own dog, Christine Tilt has been volunteering to help other pets in need to get back on their paws…

Placed proudly in Christine Tilt’s living room are multiple photo frames filled with the beaming faces of Blue Cross dogs she has lovingly fostered over the past two years.

Grey dog and white dog sat on foster carers lap in front of window
Christine with Moana and Tinkerbell

First came Libby, then abandoned friends Moana and Tinkerbell and the most recent – and ninth – dog to walk through her door is 10-year-old Yorkshire terrier, Padine.

And, although saying goodbye is tough, Christine looks forward to filling many more photo frames with pets she will give a second chance to.

“I still miss all of them,” she says. “But I do it because I want to open my heart and my home to dogs that really need it, and this is a way of doing it.”

Christine, whose last dog passed away in October 2021, became a foster carer for Blue Cross in early 2022, having been a lifelong supporter of our charity, alongside her late husband.

Blue Cross couldn’t do all we can for pets without volunteers like her, who allow us to spare scared or sick animals in need of extra TLC the stress and upheaval of going into kennels.

For many dogs, the care she provides is simply life-saving.

Caroline Oram, Adoptions Coordinator at Blue Cross Bromsgrove, says: “Foster carers like Christine are like gold dust to us.

“The impact staying in a loving home environment has on the pets we help is huge, for both their physical and mental health. In some cases, it’s a lifeline.”

When Moana and Tinkerbell arrived at Christine’s door, they were terrified.

The pint-sized pair were abandoned in a park along with five other dogs crammed into cat carriers, with no access to food or water.

Moana, a Yorkshire terrier and dachshund cross, was suffering from some hair loss, likely related to stress. She was particularly frightened and relied heavily on Tinkerbell, a jack russell and Chihuahua cross, for support.

Caroline says: “We wanted to get them into foster care as soon as possible, as they had been through so much. So, lovely Christine said she would have them.”

“When she cared for Moana and Tinkerbell, the difference was amazing,” she continues.

“Within a couple of weeks, their coats were better, Moana’s fur had started to grow back, and she was more confident in meeting people. They were thriving.”

And, one month later, Moana and Tinkerbell left Christine for a loving new home – completely transformed from the worried little shells they had arrived in our care as.

Christine continues: “Words can’t explain how rewarding fostering is unless you’ve done it and see that joy – to see them go out of that door happy. Especially Moana, she was quite terrified of everything – she was frightened of her own tail at one point.

“It’s sad to say goodbye to all of the dogs but lovely to know that I did all I could to get them ready for a new home – that’s my job, that’s my purpose.”

— Page last updated 31/05/2024