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 based mostly?
I dwell in stunning downtown San Jose, CA and dwell in a home in-built 1904.
What’s your job function?
I’ve been with the Assist org since beginning with Hortonworks virtually 8 years in the past (can not imagine it’s been that lengthy) as Director of Assist Enablement, till this January after 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 perfect, most superb companion I might ask for, and so I adopted him a number of months later.
So after I heard the spouse had terminal most cancers, I instantly volunteered to soak up her cats. They’re tremendous simple going, very loving and it’s been a pleasure fostering them. I’ll seemingly have them for a very long time as (sadly) senior animals are much less fascinating than youthful animals, which is simply wonderful 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.
Just lately 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 (often known 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 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 folks. And Johnny and Piggy get alongside nice collectively, even sleeping in the identical crate through the day.
How did you first become involved 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 perpetually houses yearly.
I knew nothing about cats after I first grew to become a foster, as my brother was allergic to cats, and we had been at all times a canine household rising up. However I quickly noticed that cats are completely superb 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 way of a bunch known as Each Pet’s Dream. It is a small however great rescue that focuses on taking canine with medical and behavioral points that will be in any other case destroyed by the Shelter. I’ve fostered dozens of canine for them, each improbable in their very own means.
I want 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, corresponding to 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 usually facilitate the month-to-month planning conferences and volunteer for his or her particular fundraising occasions (like a latest Recreation 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 hold our Adoption Middle (situated in Petsmart) stocked with provides.
What’s probably 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 while 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 step by step decompress and develop assured…there may be nothing else prefer it.
It’s been an unbelievable expertise over the past 20 years, and I hope to proceed for years to return. Canines and cats are a few of my favourite folks 🙂
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 may allow them to know what kind of foster state of affairs you might be on the lookout for. Some of us can solely foster dog-friendly canine, if there are resident pooches already within the residence, or they like to foster kittens and puppies (or, like me, want the extra mature animal). Some want bigger canine, or smaller canine…all these preferences are considered when putting animals into foster houses.
And even when fostering will not be a risk for you, there’s a place for you as a rescue volunteer. There’s at all times a necessity for information 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!