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SPCA Seeks Foster Families For Hundreds Of Animals Over Festive Season

Hundreds of SPCA animals are looking for a caring foster family this Christmas season as SPCA Centres around the country start to fill up.

SPCA is asking big-hearted kiwis to foster animals so they can be in a home environment over the Christmas break. SPCA foster families play an important role in the animal care process and provide love, care, and a safe place for animals in need.

With ‘kitten season’ in full-swing, SPCA resources are stretched to the limit. Centres across New Zealand are looking for families who can foster kittens, cats, neonates (kittens who are new-born to four weeks old), Queens (mother cats), puppies, dogs, rabbits, goats, horses, livestock, chickens, and even ducks.

Emma Epstein of Mangere Bridge has been fostering SPCA felines for four years, caring for more than 40 animals over that time with her partner, Tristan. The pair have fostered week old kittens, right through to adult cats. She says fostering is an amazing way to have animals in your life if you’re not in a position to adopt, or to learn what it’s like to have a pet full time.

“Just this week, I’ve given back a mother cat with her five kittens, and we are picking up our new foster cats in a few days,” says Ms Epstein. She describes fostering as “incredibly rewarding, and a great way to help animals who need it.”

Fostering involves caring for an animal from two to six weeks and comes at no cost to the foster family. SPCA supplies all food, medicine, bedding, and toys to make the animal comfortable while with their foster family.

Foster families need to have their own transport to bring animals to and from the centre and be available for veterinary appointments.

SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen says SPCA foster families are incredibly special people.

“I’m always blown away by the support of our foster volunteers who open their homes and hearts to animals in need. Animals who are taken in by fosters do extraordinarily well, coming back to us confident and happy, ready to find their forever homes,” she says.

Ms Epstein can’t wait to pick up her new fosters, but admits there is one big challenge to be being a foster parent.

“You get so attached to the foster animals; it can be hard to give them back! But it’s a wonderful feeling knowing they will be adopted by people who adore them, and we helped them on their journey.”

Across the country, the need for foster families vary. For fostering opportunities in your area, see https://www.spca.nz/fosteranimals

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