NEWS/OPINION: The Covid-19 outbreak has changed the way people live. Some of these changes may be permanent. One interesting development is that some people who are self-isolating at home have decided that it would help them get through months of near imprisonment if they had a pet cat or dog to entertain them. They are applying to shelters to foster rescue animals. It seems that they want a companion animal ‘on loan’ for a finite time and to avoid the responsibility of looking after a companion animal for the life of the animal.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. It reflects the cat owning style of Mark Twain who famously loved cats and liked to borrow them for the summer. This development comes from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home where they have suspended accepting applicants for fosterers because of a spike in applications. It is quite definitely a development born out of the pandemic.
And it is interesting that this spike in fostering applications has coincided with a request from some animal shelters for more applications from fosterers because their permanent in-house staff may be self-isolating or because they have to stay away because of an infection. There is a symmetry in the development.
Clearly companion animals in foster homes are neatly isolated for each other. Rescue animal foster care is a ideal solution under the extraordinary circumstances facing societies at present.
Cats Protection don’t have any issues to deal with of this type because their organisation is built entirely on volunteer foster carers.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home are accepting applicants from people wishing to adopt. Visitors will have to apply online as their facilities are closed to visitors during the outbreak unless for pre-booked homing appointments.
FYI – Battersea have pretty strict rules for potential foster carers. For instance, the applicant can’t have any pets at home other than the fostered animal from Battersea. Neither should there by children at home.
Foster carers for Battersea need to live within one hour of any one of their three facilities. Sometimes foster caring lasts many months or until the animal has found a new home. Lastly foster carers need to help in the rehoming process through providing photos, videos and updates by email.
SOME MORE ON FOSTERING: