Tails from Bideawee Volunteer, Janet Downs
Volunteering at Bideawee Since 2009
I have been a Bideawee volunteer since 2009 and have been involved in many aspects of volunteer work for the organization. I began by socializing the cats and kittens at the Adoption Center at Bideawee in Westhampton a couple of times a week. It was so gratifying to play with the many wonderful cats that were waiting for their forever homes. As time went on, I became involved in many of the activities and events hosted by Bideawee. I discovered that the more I gave of myself, the more satisfaction I received in return, and I soon decided to take my participation with Bideawee to the next level.
After volunteering for about a year, I felt comfortable and confident enough to volunteer to foster kittens in my own home. I realized that this would be a big commitment, but I was ready. Fostering is a fantastic and vitally important service that Bideawee provides because it allows both cats and dogs to become comfortable and familiar with life outside of Bideawee. It also teaches them how to interact with and become part of a family.
My first fostering experience was with a mother cat and her five newborn kittens. The mother, Snow White, was found on a city street, and brought to Bideawee. She had obviously had a difficult life and had some health issues. For several weeks, I lovingly cared for the mama cat and her babies. Sadly, two of the kittens did not make it, as this is often the case when the mother has health issues during her pregnancy. Fortunately, three kittens grew up to be happy and healthy. After fostering, they were available for adopt and soon after, all were adopted by loving families! One kitten, ZigZag, was adopted by a friend of mine who fell in love with him at first sight. I have wonderful memories and photos from that fostering experience and I look forward to having the opportunity to foster again. It was worth every precious moment!
For more information on fostering Bideawee pets, please call the Adoption Centers at Bideawee in Manhattan or Westhampton (1-866-262-8133).