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 twenty years.
The place are you based mostly?
I reside in lovely downtown San Jose, CA and reside 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 canines 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 dwelling and I took in a cat for them on the time. Matt (now Panther) turned out to be the most effective, most wonderful companion I may 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 seemingly have them for a very long time as (sadly) senior animals are much less fascinating than youthful animals, which is simply high-quality with me!
Final yr, my very own canine Hoshi (a 16 yr outdated poodle/shih tzu combine) died of kidney points, and only a week later Rob Roy, my 15 yr outdated foster hospice canine died.
Just lately my different two fosters Maxie (a 7 yr outdated Chi/terrier combine), and Bailey (a 7 month outdated Chi/pom pet) had been adopted. So now I’m fostering Johnny Boy (a 13 yr outdated, 20 pound “your guess is nearly as good as mine” canine), and Wrigley (also referred to as Mr. Wrigglesworth, Wriggly Piggly, and simply plain “Piggy”–a 3 yr outdated Chi combine).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 through the day.
How did you first become involved with fostering canines and cats?
I’ve been fostering cats for about twenty years now for 13th 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 without end properties 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 (Trap 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 by a gaggle known as Every Pet’s Dream. This can be a small however fantastic rescue that focuses on taking canines with medical and behavioral points that will be in any other case destroyed by the Shelter. I’ve fostered dozens of canines for them, each unbelievable in their very own approach.
I choose fostering (and adopting) the older canines and cats as they’ve a particular place in my coronary heart, and am joyful to foster animals with medical points, resembling 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 current Recreation Night time co-hosted by the San Jose Woman’s Club). 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 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 whenever you see the animals positioned into fantastic loving properties! Listening to a once-terrified kitten purr for the primary time…seeing a once-insecure canine progressively decompress and develop assured…there may be nothing else prefer it.
It’s been an unimaginable expertise during the last twenty 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 so forth.) are supplied by the rescue. You may allow them to know what kind of foster state of affairs you might be 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, choose the extra mature animal). Some choose bigger canines, or smaller canines…all these preferences are considered when inserting animals into foster properties.
And even when fostering just isn’t a chance for you, there’s a place for you as a rescue volunteer. There’s 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 nowadays there’s a particular want for volunteers to assist promote rescues and their adoptable animals on social media.
Rescue saves lives!