On this particular version of Cloudera Cares #VolunteerSpotlight for Worldwide Pet Day, Julia Ostrowski shares her expertise of fostering cats and canines for the previous 20 years.
The place are you based mostly?
I stay in stunning downtown San Jose, CA and stay in a home inbuilt 1904.
What’s your job function?
I’ve been with the Assist org since beginning with Hortonworks virtually 8 years in the past (can’t consider 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 canines and cats names?
I’m fostering two senior cats, Emma and Gianna, whose proprietor sadly died of most cancers final 12 months. 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 most effective, most superb companion I may ask for, and so I adopted him just a few 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 probably have them for a very long time as (sadly) senior animals are much less fascinating than youthful animals, which is simply nice with me!
Final 12 months, my very own canine Hoshi (a 16 12 months outdated poodle/shih tzu combine) died of kidney points, and only a week later Rob Roy, my 15 12 months outdated foster hospice canine died.
Lately my different two fosters Maxie (a 7 12 months outdated Chi/terrier combine), and Bailey (a 7 month outdated Chi/pom pet) have been adopted. So now I’m fostering Johnny Boy (a 13 12 months outdated, 20 pound “your guess is pretty much as good as mine” canine), and Wrigley (also called Mr. Wrigglesworth, Wriggly Piggly, and simply plain “Piggy”–a 3 12 months outdated Chi combine).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 throughout the day.
How did you first get entangled with fostering canines 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 12 months…and now we commonly place 300+ cats into loving ceaselessly houses yearly.
I knew nothing about cats after I first grew to become a foster, as my brother was allergic to cats, and we have 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 bunch of cats and kittens over time. 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 (Lure 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 canines greater than a decade in the past, and now foster via a gaggle referred to as Each Pet’s Dream. This can be a small however great rescue that focuses on taking canines with medical and behavioral points that might be in any other case destroyed by the Shelter. I’ve fostered dozens of canines for them, every one unbelievable in their very own approach.
I want fostering (and adopting) the older canines and cats as they’ve a particular place in my coronary heart, and am comfortable to foster animals with medical points, akin 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 typically facilitate the month-to-month planning conferences and volunteer for his or her particular fundraising occasions (like a current Sport Night time 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 Heart (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 value it whenever 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 regularly decompress and develop assured…there’s nothing else prefer it.
It’s been an unbelievable expertise during the last 20 years, and I hope to proceed for years to return. Canines 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 containers, and so forth.) are offered by the rescue. You’ll be able to allow them to know what sort of foster state of affairs you’re in search of. Some of us can solely foster dog-friendly canines, if there are resident pooches already within the house, or they like to foster kittens and puppies (or, like me, want the extra mature animal). Some want bigger canines, or smaller canines…all these preferences are considered when putting animals into foster houses.
And even when fostering isn’t a chance for you, there’s a place for you as a rescue volunteer. There may be at all times 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 lately there’s a particular want for volunteers to assist promote rescues and their adoptable animals on social media.
Rescue saves lives!