For Christine, when it comes to being a foster volunteer for the GTHS, it can be summed up as unconditional love.
She moved to Collingwood in the summer of 2021 and it wasn’t too long until she decided she wanted to become a foster volunteer. More specifically, with a long love for cats, she wanted to be a Feline Foster Volunteer. She contacted the Georgian Triangle Humane Society and applied to be a feline foster volunteer, wanting to help kittens who needed care.
Feline Foster Volunteers provide a safe, loving, and temporary home for pregnant or nursing kittens. They are responsible for helping cats and kittens thrive in a warm home until they are ready to be adopted. This presented Christine with a way to give back to the new community that welcomed her.
“The GTHS presence is very strong in Collingwood, so I wanted to see about foster volunteering,” Christine said. Once she was approved to start fostering, she fell in love with it. As she began fostering newborn kittens, she had to learn more about what it meant to be committed to animal welfare, but she was up for the challenge. From bottle feeding to providing medication to foster protocols, Christine leaned on the GTHS staff for assistance and guidance, saying, “Some kittens would be 2 or 3 weeks old, so I counted on them for help. They are always responsive, especially with any medical needs or questions. Animals are always in good hands at the humane society.”
Now into 2022, Christine has more experience as a Feline Foster Volunteer, but she acknowledges that it’s still a learning curve as every kitten she cares for has a different personality. “Every kitten comes with its challenges and needs. So, my challenges are their challenges. I offer a warm home, gentle care, and unconditional love. The GTHS ensures each kitten receives proper medical care and nutrition. I have learned how to administer eye drops, ear drops, and oral medication. My biggest challenge was getting used to helping neo kittens’ toilet.”
Despite some challenges, she does get some help from time-to-time. Her daughter, Alyssa, will come by her home and provide some assistance when needed, especially when Christine is caring for multiple kittens at once. During those times when Christine is getting extra hands to help, she’ll show the effective ways to care for kittens, allowing her daughter to learn the palpable educational lessons from the GTHS.
As Christine has made Collingwood her home, she wants to keep foster volunteering as long as possible. Her neighbours and other community members, however, have caught wind of her passion for what she loves, and she is often asked how they could get possibly involved. “People will come up and ask how they can look into it. I direct them to the GTHS website,” she said. “I tell them the GTHS is a great place to get involved in.”
The GTHS not only appreciates the work that feline and canine foster volunteers do but the amazing work all of the volunteers do with the organization. To Christine and all the other volunteers, they are the heart of the GTHS and they show it every day. Thank you to all of them.
If you are interested in foster volunteering or other volunteering positions with the GTHS, visit the official webpage for more information.