On this particular version of Cloudera Cares #VolunteerSpotlight for Worldwide Pet Day, Julia Ostrowski shares her expertise of fostering cats and canine for the previous 20 years.
The place are you primarily based?
I dwell in lovely downtown San Jose, CA and dwell in a home inbuilt 1904.
What’s your job position?
I’ve been with the Help org since beginning with Hortonworks virtually 8 years in the past (can not consider it’s been that lengthy) as Director of Help Enablement, till this January once I moved to the IT division.
Introduce your foster animals!
What are your foster canine and cats names?
I’m fostering two senior cats, Emma and Gianna, whose proprietor sadly died of most cancers final yr. When the proprietor’s husband died a number of years in the past, she had to enter assisted residing and I took in a cat for them on the time. Matt (now Panther) turned out to be the very best, most wonderful companion I might ask for, and so I adopted him just a few months later.
So once I heard the spouse had terminal most cancers, I instantly volunteered to soak up her cats. They’re tremendous straightforward going, very loving and it’s been a pleasure fostering them. I’ll doubtless have them for a very long time as (sadly) senior animals are much less fascinating than youthful animals, which is simply positive with me!
Final yr, my very own canine Hoshi (a 16 yr previous poodle/shih tzu combine) died of kidney points, and only a week later Rob Roy, my 15 yr previous foster hospice canine died.
Not too long ago my different two fosters Maxie (a 7 yr previous Chi/terrier combine), and Bailey (a 7 month previous Chi/pom pet) had been adopted. So now I’m fostering Johnny Boy (a 13 yr previous, 20 pound “your guess is nearly as good as mine” canine), and Wrigley (also referred to as Mr. Wrigglesworth, Wriggly Piggly, and simply plain “Piggy”–a 3 yr previous Chi combine).
Johnny is the neatest, clumsiest canine I’ve ever fostered who loves going for walks greater than I really like chocolate, and Piggy is by far the happiest, wriggliest canine I’ve ever met. He by no means stops wagging his tail and simply loves individuals. And Johnny and Piggy get alongside nice collectively, even sleeping in the identical crate through the day.
How did you first get entangled with fostering canine and cats?
I’ve been fostering cats for about 20 years now for thirteenth St. Cats, a small, all-volunteer run rescue situated primarily in downtown San Jose. On the time, we adopted out about 50 cats a yr…and now we commonly place 300+ cats into loving endlessly houses yearly.
I knew nothing about cats once I first turned a foster, as my brother was allergic to cats, and we had been all the time a canine household rising up. However I quickly noticed that cats are completely wonderful in their very own proper and have fostered a whole lot of cats and kittens through the years. Some have been ‘foster failures’ and ended up staying with me as my very own cats till they crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.
The group additionally focuses on TNR (Entice Neuter Return) , which traps and neuters all of the feral cats in a colony, adopting out the kittens and friendlier kitties, then returning the wild adults again to their territory and offering them with meals and shelter.
I additionally began fostering canine greater than a decade in the past, and now foster by means of a gaggle referred to as Each Pet’s Dream. This can be a small however great rescue that focuses on taking canine with medical and behavioral points that might be in any other case destroyed by the Shelter. I’ve fostered dozens of canine for them, every one implausible in their very own means.
I desire fostering (and adopting) the older canine and cats as they’ve a particular place in my coronary heart, and am pleased to foster animals with medical points, reminiscent of kidney, thyroid, and coronary heart issues, in addition to diabetes. Neither rescue I volunteer for will finish the lifetime of a canine or cat as a consequence of treatable medical points, or behavioral points.
How do you volunteer for them – what do you do?
For thirteenth St. Cats, I typically facilitate the month-to-month planning conferences and volunteer for his or her particular fundraising occasions (like a current Sport Evening co-hosted by the San Jose Lady’s Membership). I additionally monitor and reply to calls made to our hotline, course of adoption paperwork, and preserve our Adoption Middle (situated in Petsmart) stocked with provides.
What’s essentially the most rewarding factor about volunteering with native animal rescues?
Each little bit of the time and power spent in volunteering with animal rescues is price it once you see the animals positioned into great loving houses! Listening to a once-terrified kitten purr for the primary time…seeing a once-insecure canine steadily decompress and develop assured…there may be nothing else prefer it.
It’s been an unimaginable expertise during the last 20 years, and I hope to proceed for years to come back. Canine and cats are a few of my favourite individuals 🙂
What would you say to somebody contemplating volunteering with an animal rescue?
Discover it! As a foster, all provides (together with meals, bowls, beds, litter bins, and many others.) are supplied by the rescue. You’ll be able to allow them to know what sort of foster scenario you might be searching for. Some people can solely foster dog-friendly canine, if there are resident pooches already within the house, or they like to foster kittens and puppies (or, like me, desire the extra mature animal). Some desire bigger canine, or smaller canine…all these preferences are considered when inserting animals into foster houses.
And even when fostering shouldn’t be a chance for you, there’s a place for you as a rescue volunteer. There may be all the time a necessity for knowledge entry, fundraising (which is a continuing, year-round necessity), staffing particular occasions (like in-person adoption showcases), even driving animals to their medical appointments. And today there’s a particular want for volunteers to assist promote rescues and their adoptable animals on social media.
Rescue saves lives!