Monday, October 23, 2006

Why adopt cats out?

The CWS Adoption volunteer was telling me about one of the fosters who is giving some problems. She adopted a cat out to someone and this person wrote in to say she had concernes. The adoption volunteer wrote to her to ask what happened. It turns out the new adopter is upset the cat is not 'toilet trained' - ie on the toilet floor, and wants to use litter. She says that all cats are supposed to use the floor. Then she was upset that the cat had been fostered in a home with a dog - even though she said the cat was very well looked after and healthy. Then it turns out that she would not be bringing the cat to the vet after that - she does not believe in vets and has not sterilised any of her previous cats.

The volunteer then called up the foster and told her that she should seriously consider whether she is comfortable leaving the cat with this adopter. Considering she does not intend to bring them to the vet, and considering that she is unlikely to sterilise, the volunteer advised the foster to think about this seriously.

The foster then wrote back and said she was leaving the cat with the adopter. She said she was desperate to adopt them out (though actually the cats were with another foster who was prepared to hold them longer). She said that she had given her a sample contract (which I believe was not signed) and that it was now up to the adopter. She said if the woman did not sterilise, and the cats (a male and female cat) were allowed to breed and dumped on the street, it was not her problem. After all, it was in CWS's stipulated contract according to her.

The adoption volunteer explained that the contract was between the foster and the adopter as it is a sample contract (and which is explained to people using our board). It is not in any way a CWS contract, nor does CWS sign on it. It is for people to use and decide to put in and take out different clauses. Some beef it up, others take out other clauses or change details. It's just a guide to go by.

The foster can then enforce it if he or she wishes. However, even if there is a contract, the foster cannot then throw up her hands and say it is no longer her issue. Plus, since she knows the adopter is already expressing these issues about not sterilising and not treating sick cats, she should think about whether she wants to give the cats up to this home.

What is the point of adoption? To just get the cats into ANY home? The idea is to get cats that cannot live on the streets off the street and into GOOD homes. the idea is to ensure they are well taken of, and most importantly, not to ADD to the pool of cats on the street.

If you 'save' two cats, and then doom the 10 offspring to be dumped on the streets unsterilised for example, then how is this helping at all?

The adoption volunteer is trying to convince the foster to act to remove the cats, but at the end of the day, it is her decision as they are her cats. She will be banning her and the adopter from the board after this.

30 Comments:

Blogger calsifer said...

Makes my blood boil! What's the point in foster/adoption?

Both adopter and foster clearly have issues. I guess here's no way to ensure the cats get sterilised? =(

23/10/06 1:36 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Calsifer - unless the foster pushes it. I really hope the foster will just take the cats back.

23/10/06 1:44 PM  
Blogger calsifer said...

Then I hope so too. But it seems that all this foster is interested in doing is fobbing her cats off to any Ah Lian, Minah or Devi.

I guess at least if she gets them sterilised, it's better than the possibility of the cats making babies like no tomorrow after being adopted out.

23/10/06 1:49 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Calsifer - exactly, giving them out and then saying it is no longer her problem is not just irresponsible to those cats but also to the community cat population in general, unless she can be sure they are not going to be allowed to breed.

23/10/06 2:01 PM  
Blogger auntie p said...

Calsifer has said what I wanted to ask: Why adopt cats in?

Both fosterer and adopter are not acting in the cats' interest. The worst thing to have happened in this case, is to have irresponsible fosterer meeting the irresponsible adopter...very suay!

23/10/06 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't the adoption volunteer step in? i mean, strictly, it is between the foster and the adopter, but since the lines are kind of fudged in this instance (at least in the eyes of the foster and adopter themselves), i think someone with common sense shld intervene. for the sake of the cats if nothg else. maybe sterilise the cats for the adopter?

23/10/06 4:57 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous the problem is if the adopter won't let them sterilise the cats. Then in that case, if there's no 'abuse', only the foster can say she wants the cats back. The problem is the cats aren't old enough to be sterilised yet - and they've already been handed over. It's always harder to get the cats BACK afterward.

23/10/06 7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The foster has requested for the cats back, but the adopter refused to return saying that the cats have adjusted and are happy now.

23/10/06 11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Advice was offered (including transport contact) to get the male and female kittens sterilised. Foster emailed to say "Case closed" when advise was offered.
I have many emails from this case. Adoption volunteer.

24/10/06 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the foster will call the adopter again in 3 mths' time to discuss abt the sterilisation issue. since the kittens are very young now, it is still too early to discuss this. by then, everything will blow over and there will be closure to this case. in other words, the case can be closed.

25/10/06 12:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the foster has been feeding and sterilising cats that were left on the streets by other people. the fosterer is not working and has no income but for the sake of the cats, she is willing to do it. but sometimes people just don't understand how taxing it is for the foster.

25/10/06 1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the adopter insists on keeping the cats and this shows that she loves them and want to keep them. if the cats hv food and shelter, it is still better to be with the adopter than to be on the streets. i am sure the foster had considered this. if the adopter treats the cats well and feed them, the foster will be very happy, knowing that her cats have a home now.

25/10/06 1:09 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I'm very glad to hear the cats will be sterilised.

Anonymous - I'm sure it is taxing on the foster. However, if the foster cannot manage then she shouldn't take in cats for adoption. It is better to leave them on the street and look after them there. Removing cats just means new cats will move in because of the vacuum effect so the foster will be endlessly taking cats off the street.

As for the other Anonymous, I don't agree. I think that there are far worst things then being on the street sometimes - and being in a bad adoptive home is one of them. Just because someone is willing to give them a home doesn't mean they may give them a GOOD home. Anyone can feed them. The key words you mentioned are giving them a 'good home' - and that means making sure their needs are taken care of, they have access to good medical care, they are sterilised and she doesn't have unreasonable expectations of the cats. Not every home is a good home, just as not every adopter is a good adopter. There have been homes where I sincerely wish the foster had left the cat on the street because they were in such terrible condition.

25/10/06 2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi dawn. on behalf of the foster, i shd like to thk you for being so neutral and understanding.

the foster had considered yr points too. she also thought it would be a better idea to put the cats back on the street. But then, she was advised by her friends not to put them back.

The kittens are so young and survival rate is low. It was a tough and difficult decision for the foster to make, and it has caused her many sleepless nights.

she loves the kittens and have made every efforts to help them. But, it was just bad luck for her that things don't turn up well.

the foster has never blame anyone except for herself.

The foster went to the adopter's place at the first meeting. the adopter has 3 other cats at home. The cats are healthy and chubby. Obviously, the foster can see that the adopter has taken well care of the cats.

The foster has contacted the adopter and ask if she could visit the kittens in 2 weeks' time, but there's no response fr the adopter.

the foster will not give up. she will try again and again until the adopter say yes to her.

if you think it is OK to put the cats back on the streets, i am sure the foster will consider and take yr advice.

THANK YOU

25/10/06 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the foster shd like to apologise to the adoption volunteer for any inconveniences caused.

And thank you to the volunteer who has offered her time and services for the sake of these cats.

25/10/06 10:33 AM  
Blogger calsifer said...

Going through the comments here, it seems the Anonymous(es) who know the foster is making a case for the foster's sense of responsibility to the adotped kittens. I don't think anyone here is making personal attacks, rather it is the circumstances and facts of the case.

Even though Anonymous has shed some light by saying thatt the foster has visited the adopter and her cats look healthy, thus convincing the foster of her ability to care for the cats, I'm still puzzling over the question of why choose this adopter if she has said that she's not going to sterilise and does not believe in going to the vet? Because aren't these two basic points in caring for pets?

I just wonder if one of the possible contributors to the situation is the foster's (lack of) screening experience?

25/10/06 10:39 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes Anonymous - as Calsifer said, it isn't my point here to make personal attacks. It is just very worrying when for example, ANY adopter decides not to sterilise and the foster decides to leave it. As all of us here want to do, we want to curb the population of cats - as I am sure the foster felt sorry for the kittens that she found on the street, if these kittens should grow up and breed and the adopter cannot manage, it could be far, far worse with many more kittens on the street. Some of these will die, and the others will go on and produce MORE cats. I am sure the foster does not want this too.

I'm glad to hear the foster will continue to keep trying with the adopter till she agrees to sterilise. It is a little worrying that the adopter will not respond to her about a visit but a visit is a good step to see how the kittens are doing.

25/10/06 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the adopter did not tell the foster that she will not sterilise the cats. she did not mention abt sterilisation at the first meeting. she said, she don't trust the vets. The sterilisation issue was brought up a few days later after the adoption has taken place. It happened at a later stage.

25/10/06 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thk you dawn, you are able to analyse things with a cool head.

Yes, the foster knows that this is not a personal attack. not to worry.

In fact, the foster has been sterilising community cats for quite some time. She don't like to see kittens being abandoned on the streets and later run over by cars. She cannot bear to see them suffering and go hungry for days.
she also took the sicked cats to the vets. The foster spent abt $800-$900 on maintaining the cats and looking after their welfare.

And, she only picks kittens who are in distress and she cares for them. She also vaccinates and de-worm them and later put them up for adoption into good homes. Sometimes, she will also sterilise the cats (though not all the cats, but some) before handing over to the adopter.

people must understand that not all fosters are experienced. some lack knowledge while others lack experience. the experienced ones must guide the inexperienced and not chide or reprimand them when a small hiccup surfaced. experience is not overnight. it has to be accummulated over the yrs and people must be more understanding towards these fosters. otherwise who will dare to rescue the cats in future? And, who will sterilise them?

it's nice that this chapter has a closure.

25/10/06 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the foster wishes to thank the people who voiced out on this forum and shared their views and opinions.

Now, everybody can take a break and rest.

25/10/06 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish everything is as easily said and done like the foster's "case closed" once the kittens are sent out.
But the fact remains, the adopter has not agreed to sterilisation & no longer respond to the foster.

The foster would like "everybody can take a break and rest" and "it's nice that this chapter has a closure." So would I.

The generous sponsor who has been sponsoring this pair of kittens all along has once again agreed to sponsor the kittens' sterilisation and transport when I email to ask her. She is not the foster.

A neutral party who knows the adopter has been asked help with explaining the benefits of sterilisation to the adopter and to see what could be done. Until the kittens are sterilised in January 07, the case is not closed.

Adoption Volunteer

25/10/06 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The generous sponsor is a friend of the foster and they both love cats.

It's a case of a friend helping another friend. She volunteered to help her friend even though the foster said she will pay.

This is what we call : A friend in need is a friend indeed.

The foster is very grateful to her friend and will forever remember her kindness.


You see, how gracious this sponsor is. The foster said she is very fortunate to have her.

26/10/06 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After several attempts, the foster finally received some good news and 'heart-warming' replies from the adopter yesterday.

The adopter said: "the kittens are toilet-trained now; they are doing very well and the kittens are very happy now". The foster is very happy and pleased to hear this.

It's a great relief for the foster because she was so worried for the kittens.

The adopter also said: "she will care for the kittens permanently because she believes a pet is for life."

She also asked the foster not to take back the kittens.

The adopter has a friend, who was her representative and he had recently written to the foster twice.

Both the adopter and the foster have compromised.

The foster has expressed her most sincere appreciation to the adopter for taking good care of the kittens. She praised the adopter and said to her "the kittens are toilet trained now, you must be a good trainer. I am very pleased and happy for you. Good work and well done; and if
i can be of any help to you in future, pl feel free to email or sms me."

Both parties are happy now.

the foster has approached her friend (the sponsor) a week ago and arrangements will be made three months later for the foster and her sponsor to visit the adopter and get the cats out for sterilisation.

28/10/06 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Adopter sent a written warning to the Foster.

"If you try to come to my house with anybody, ..... I will make a police report against you........
Stop sending emails to me
or sms me
or even call me........"

1/11/06 1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Foster(s)

Since the adopter don't appreciate your help, then forget abt it.
You have done your best. Take care and good luck.

Amy

2/11/06 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also a caregiver who lives in the same neighbourhood with this foster and I have heard about her case.

My comments are as follows:

(1) the adopter did not tell the foster that she would not be bringing the cat to the vet. The adopter also did not say that she has not sterilised any of her previous cats.

The adopter only told the foster that she don't trust vets.

The adopter and the foster did not mention anything about sterilisation at the first meeting.

1 week after the handover of the kittens (i.e. on 18th Oct 2006), both parties (foster and adopter) still did not mention anything about sterilisation. Because it is a sensitive issue, both parties did not talk about it.

(2) It was after receiving the complaints, then the foster sent a message to the adopter and asked if the adopter could consider returning the kittens to her. But the adopter rejected her.

So, what can the foster do.

(3) The foster DID NOT say she was desperate to adopt the kittens out. It was the perception of 'someone else'.

The foster's wish is to find a good home for the kittens. Though it's quite urgent but not desperate yet because the kittens are still young (2.5 to 3 months old).

The foster has approached several feeders and caregivers in this area. She asked them to help her to look out for good homes. We can see she is very concerned.

The Foster did not ask for a bad adoptive home for her kittens. She has never make such remarks.

She would rather wait for the kittens to grow up and sterilise them and then put them back on the streets if nobody wants them.

She has 5 stray cats/kittens at home and 2 are very ill. They need full time care. Her hands are full. And, that's the reason why she can't adopt these 2 kittens.

We know she has done her best and we always encourage and motivate her.

6/11/06 2:52 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous in the same estate - I suggest you speak to the different parties yourself and not rely on the foster who may not be telling you the whole story. In fact, we've gotten several complaints over this incident from the different parties involved (and the foster seems to be telling different stories to each one of them). In addition, this is the third case that we've had complaints about this foster about.

Also, do drop me a line - we need more caregivers in the area and I would be most interested to touch base with you so that we can work with you if there are more complaints in the area.

6/11/06 3:05 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - another thing, being a caregiver, I am sure you are also very aware of the importance of sterilisation. Why was it a 'sensitive' issue? Surely, any foster should talk about sterilisation BEFORE handing the kittens over. If not, what if the adopter should say they didn't want to sterilise after the fact?

From the email I saw, the foster had complaints about the home and the adopter before she gave the kittens over. In that case, she should not have handed them over.

As you yourself said, her hands are full, she cannot take them in, and it's 'quite urgent' to find them a home.

In addition, I am sure as a caregiver you know that removing the cats from the streets, waiting for them to 'grow up' and then releasing them is not going to work as they're not familiar with the street. They'll have lived in a home for all their lives - how will they survive?

That sounds pretty desperate to me.

6/11/06 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/11/06 4:50 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I'm removing your quote for potential defamatory content.

10/11/06 5:26 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home