Ever wondered how to keep puppies and kittens little and cuddly forever? Well, I’ve learned the secret and I’m sharing it with you now!
You can have perpetual puppies and kittens by signing up to be a foster parent, like me, through one of Indy’s local animal shelters. My favorites are Indianapolis Humane Society, FACE, and Indianapolis Animal Care Services.
I started fostering after my FIV+ cat suddenly passed away. I wasn’t ready to adopt another cat yet, but still wanted to share my home with a furry friend. My employer frequently allows me to work from home and provides 56 hours of VTO (volunteer time off). I even smuggled a bottle-fed kitten in to work one day due to a jam packed day of meetings. It was a lot of fun, but I highly discourage it unless you’d like to make enemies with the facilities team or risk being reprimanded. Oops!
Every so often, I open up my humble little abode to foster some of the cuddliest fur babies in Indy. And on Fridays, we scoop! My sister and I volunteer every Friday as ‘pooper scoopers’ at one of the local shelters. We deep clean and get to cuddle the cats, too. It’s really the best way to kick off our weekends!
Not sure if fostering is for you? That’s ok – read on for more ways you can help!
Become a Foster–
Kittens & Puppies: typically a four week commitment, caring for a pair from 4 to 8 weeks old until they’re old enough to be adopted. They can eat dry food, use the litter box, etc.
Bottle-feed Babies: the most intense and rewarding. Just like human babies, they need to be fed around the clock every few hours. It’s great for those who work from home or are home a lot.
Adult Cats & Dogs: often the biggest need and easiest to care for. These cuddly fur balls just need a couple weeks away from the shelter to recover from surgery or a kitty cold.
Help at one-time events– Don’t want to commit to a regular volunteer gig? No worries! You can offer to help with events, fundraisers or even clerical work.
Donate Supplies– Shelters are always in need of food, litter, blankets, towels, etc. Check out the “wish lists” posted on their websites. It’s nearly Spring Cleaning time!
Spread the word– Perhaps furry friends aren’t your forte – and that’s ok. Share this blog post with your animal loving friends!
- Give it some thought – Make sure fostering is for you. It can be a big time commitment and an incredibly rewarding experience.
- Shelters – I’ve found the Humane Society to be a well-oiled machine blessed with a plethora of volunteers. I’d suggest starting with one of the other shelters, like IACC or FACE, if you’d like to get involved right away!
- Encourage a friend to volunteer with you! Scooping litter is fun – but double the fun with friends!
- Ask your employer to offer a “Volunteer Time Off” program or encourage your school groups to volunteer as a team.
- Worried about funds? Don’t let money hold you back – the shelters will provide everything you need – crates, food, blankets, toys, etc. Also, landlords may waive a pet fee if they know you’re fostering.
I’d love to hear from you – how do you get involved with our animal community?
Casey Dell is a Success Manager at Salesforce.com and a graduate of IUPUI’s Kelley School of Business. She loves living and working downtown. As a former 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl staffer, Casey is ecstatic with the continual impact the Big Game has had on Indy. When she’s not fostering kittens, you’ll find her trail running, instagramming and dining al fresco!