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Cat Fosterers Suffer When Rescues Crumble — 25 Comments

  1. I’ve heard from the other foster, who’s in the biggest trouble with caring for the cats. We’re going to try and do a YouCaring webpage so people can donate. KC Day said she’d get in touch with her.

    • Thank you all, I’m the other foster. In my case the rescue used a Chip-In account to raise money for rescue, pulling, vetting for all of the cats, and kept all of the money instead of it going to the cats in my care. Shortly after this, she was shut down by her local Humane Society and her cats were taken away. This woman claimed that I didn’t want to give her the cats, even though I had just driven 10 cats all the way to NE Tennessee to her. I wanted to take more, but she would not let me bring her more. She said I could bring the rest after the holidays. She had no car, and I had to get a hotel, etc as this was 5+ hrs one way up in the mountains. This woman was never a legitimate rescue, just had many people fooled. I have emails from her of the temporary foster situation I would be in. It started out as 2 weeks. It’s been a very tough 4+ years. I would be very grateful for any help in finding these kitties homes. I have posted their photos on my cat page. (CaronParis Cats)
      Thank you, Caron

  2. I do feel for those poor women. Is there anything we can do to offer them some financial support? I’d be happy to make a donation toward the care of the cats. If we could raise enough support we might be able to help relieve some of the financial pressures.

    Never has the phrase “No good deed goes unpunished” been so apt 🙁

  3. Thank you Elisa, for writing this article and Michael for publishing it here.

    I am a close friend of both of the women mentioned in this article. I got involved way back in 2010 when one of them came to me for help with the 13 sick kittens she had pulled for an out-of-state rescue. Her understanding with the rescue owner was that she would just be a short term fosterer until the cats could be transported to the rescues location.

    All the cats had contracted a contagious disease at this shelter and my friend was struggling to pay for the necessary vet visits and medications on a small pension from her deceased husbands job and her very irregular part time job. When my friend contacted this rescue for help, she was basically told the cats were now her problem. Compounding this situation, the actual rescue listed on the pull paperwork was a different rescue, one here in GA, as at that time, our Dept of Agriculature required any rescues who pulled from GA shelters to have a GA registered license.

    My friend contacted the GA rescue, who informed her that they were not responsible for the cats,as they had legally transferred them to the out of state rescue. However, they were unwilling or unable to provide such paperwork.

    Thankfully the cats recovered, although some contracted a dental disease called stomatis which is an immune disorder that inflames the gums. Recommended treatment is total tooth removal.

    My friend continuously tried to place the cats, either directly with adopters or with other rescues. She successfully placed about half, over that four year time period. The majority of the time, her pleas for assistance were either met with silence, refusal, or promises of help that never came.

    Meanwhile, her health and financial situation declined. She was always wondering and worrying about how she was going to provide basic food and litter, plus any needed vet care. Over the years, she has spent thousands at her vet to treat these cats, and several more thousands to support them.

    I moved in with my friend in July 2013. During that time I helped care for the cats, and also helped her obtain a large donation of food from a rescue friend. Without that kind assistance, I don’t know how the cats would have been fed, the situation was that severe.

    In April 2014, her health reached the point where she could no longer care for herself. She went into an assisted living facility, while I stayed to take care of the cats and her home.

    I too, requested help in placing the remaining five foster cats. A friend offered to adopt one.

    By November, the house was being readied for sale, and I needed to move. My options were to surrender the cats as owner surrenders to our local Animal Control, or move and take the cats with me.

    I chose the later. To surrender them now would have meant all my friend’s efforts, money, and time, were for nothing.

    For me, our situation highlights a flaw in the way we rescue cats. There was little or no accountability as the cats’ legal status was never clarified. Under GA law, the pulling rescue owned the cats..until they legally transferred them, either by adoption or to another rescue. They claim the cats were transferred, but there was no supporting documentation. The out of state rescue claims my friend accepted the cats and would not turn them over to her rescue. My friend says that the cats were abandoned with her. They became my friend’s property, and later mine, solely due to our commitment to take care of them the best we could.

    When everything is done “off the record” with no paper trail, everyone suffers…in this case its a sad ending for my one friend and and an ongoing issue for the other one, who still is trying to place cats abandoned in her care over four years ago.

    • Hi KC Day, thanks for taking the time to write a full comment. The last 2 paras interest me the most. The legal transfer of ownership and therefore responsibility became, as you say, blurred and too vague. This allows bad behavior to creep in and indeed it encourages it. There has to be a simple hard copy contract or email contract between fosterer and rescue.

      Is there normally documentary evidence of a contract in these sorts of arrangements or is it more normal to do things solely verbally?

  4. What a heart-rending article. I can’t begin to imagine the depth of emotional and financial stress those abandoned foster carers must be dealing with.

    I don’t know why after decades of educating the public, there’s still far too many people who don’t sterlise their pets. I can fully appreciate why many shelters are keen to neuter kittens before re-homing them. It seems to be the only solution to this ever-growing problem.

  5. Hurry Michael! Giggles. FYI I did Google and kept seeing “cat fosters needed” so thought I had the correct term after running across it half a dozen times 🙁

  6. Sorry Dee. At least the spelling police have eased up. I had a few days there where I made mistake after mistake.

    Michael you can change that to fosterers if you want 🙂

  7. Sorry, Elisa. But, enough folks already believe that we southerners are dumb. I don’t want to perpetuate that. Please use the appropriate term in your articles. Thanks.

    • Dee, I was going to change that but believed it was an alternative version. To be honest Dee, I think the word Elisa used is just about acceptable as a slang version because I have seen it used before by others.

        • Something used before by others doesn’t mean that it is correct.
          The term “gone missing” has to be the biggest slam to the english language that there is but is widely used. It make us sound stupid. Gone and missing are synonyms, making the phrase redundant.
          There’s nothing right about it. Even a sixth grader knows that is not proper english.
          We can’t expect to gain respect if we speak like hillbillies and high school dropouts.
          Maybe, some of us are. Who knows?

          • You are right. But the English language is evolving and incorporating a lot more internet words and slang used on the internet. Some of these words are now included in the Oxford English Dictionary.

  8. A really good article Elisa. Nice insight into fostering and it can be quite brutal sometimes. Too tough for some. I think some of these ladies take on too much but they are driven to that situation almost.

    The underlying problem is too many unwanted cats and cat lovers/fosters are like King Canute trying to hold back the tide.

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