CHENANGO COUNTY – The Chenango SPCA in Norwich is a non-profit organization that is working hard to provide care and assistance to abandoned and stray companion animals. With stretched resources and limited space, there is a large need for foster families, as well as families looking to adopt.
“For some people that can't have animals full-time, fostering is a great option,” said Director of Operations Lisa Teller. “We're in dire need of foster homes.”
Currently, CSPCA has approximately 60 cats and 114 kittens, which is stretching CSPCA's capacity. A number of the cats and their litters are strays that were brought in to receive care and find good homes. Foster homes are beneficial and necessary in that they provide a safe, caring space for one-on-one care until the kittens and other young companion animals are old enough to receive necessary shots and to be spayed/neutered. All of this must occur before they can be adopted.
Teller explained that if there is a space issue, then sometimes CSPCA will transfer animals out to neighboring SPCAs. Unfortunately, this is not as available an option for cats and kittens because many alternative locations are filled to capacity with felines.
Foster families will normally foster the litters for four to eight weeks until the animals are old enough to adopt.
“They make sure the animals are healthy,” said Teller when describing the duties of foster families. A foster family needs to make sure there is plenty of space and that the foster animals are kept away from other pets. The animals need to be cleaned up after, fed on schedule, and loved. Attention needs to be paid to ensure that the animals stay healthy and are kept up to date on all required shots and immunizations.
Teller explained how crucial a foster home is for young companion animals.
“Socialization is so important. It's important for them to interact,” she said.