Fostering an animal awaiting adoption is a great service but Colleen Patrick-Goudreau learned its not without its challenges.
Several years ago, I was volunteering at an underfunded county animal shelter socializing cats, cleaning their cages, and providing some enrichment to their little lives. Adoption days were few and far between, and one day I impulsively decided to bring a cat home to give her some reprieve from the cage.
That’s when I became a foster failure — not because I adopted her, but because my good intentions turned into a nightmare for my own two cats — and me — for all the stress it caused. Characteristically sensitive, both of my cats immediately fell ill and developed crystals in their bladder — preventing them from urinating. Fortunately, after much discomfort and many medical interventions, they recovered — and the little shelter cat was subsequently adopted.
While I could have learned a better way to foster without causing stress to my entire household, I overcorrected, and for 20 years — though I remained a supporter of and volunteer for animal rescue groups — I swore off fostering.
Until I decided to try again a few years ago.