Friday, January 2, 2009

Introducing Quincy!

Hi everybuddy! Today we are handing over our blog to a good friend of ours from Catster, . As you can see, he is one super handsome kitty. And more than that, he and his mum are super lovely. They are fosters at the superhero level!

Do you remember our post about the ? The whole time we were writing that, we kept thinking of Quincy and his mum, and how much better the whole pet shop system would be if we followed their lead. So, without further ado, we'll pass the keyboard over to Quincy:)_________________________________________________________________

My name is Quincy, and I am a foster kitty ambassador. My Mama fosters for , Wisconsin, and she was asked to share our experiences of how our fostering and adoption process works as opposed to a pet store selling kitties cheap with no medical attention, shots, etc. at all.

First of all, let me say that we love fostering and highly recommend it to anyone considering it. What a sense of fulfillment you get by taking an animal into your house and giving it shelter, clean water, good food, love and attention, socialization, and then seeing the joy on the faces of it's new forever family at adoption time. Many of these kitties are abandoned in homes, tossed outside, or are born outside to feral mothers, and your home could be the difference between life and death for them. Our program is no kill, but our local humane society is not. We are limited by foster space as to how many kitties we can have in the program at any given time, and we have reached upwards to the low 300's during kitten season. Our adoptions have been in the 900's for the past three years.

We have been fostering for 3 1/2 years now, and I was part of the second litter Mama fostered. Mama already had 2 kitties before me, and she kept 2 more after me. These are my "sisters", and most of the time I wish she would just return them all. Yes, I am the Male, the King of the Castle, and I rule with an iron paw....OK Mama, we'll get back the the fostering now. All together we have fostered over 350 kitties, since we average around 100 per year. Crazy, yes, there are 3 spare bedrooms in our house, and we usually have multiple litters in at least 2 of them in the height of the season. We have fostered many, many Mama's with babies, and have even had six give birth in the house. Fostering is not always easy as there are mouths to feed and litter to scoop and medicine to give and socializing to do and driving to the vet or to Petco. Sometimes you lose one or you lose a whole litter, and your heart just breaks. There are many times Mama just wanted to quit, but how can you turn your back on the little ones?? The homeless and the helpless and the injured and the sick?? So we push on and keep doing what we're doing - saving as many as we can, one at a time.

Our adoption fee is $80 for one and $120 for two since we feel so strongly in them going out in pairs. People often ask - "Why should I give you $80 when I can get one out of the paper (or from the farm or from my neighbor) for free." The difference is the medical work we put into the kitties and the extras that come with the adoption. All our kitties come with a leukemia (Felv) test, at least 2 distemper shots, deworming and defleaing.
Older kittens (4-6 mos.) and adults are also spayed/neutered and have a rabies shot. Adults are given a feline AIDS (FIV) test as well. All the kitties come with a certificate for a free Health Check to be used at a local vet within 2 weeks of adoption, and a discount certificate for spay/neuter if they are not already done. Most of our local vets accept it for 1/3 off. We give out a 4 lb. bag of Science Diet food with every adoption, and also a Petco coupon book. The coupon book has a coupon for a free bag of food, and many other coupons worth up to $120.

So what's the better deal - a "free" kitten or one that comes with the above?? We are only able to do all this and still charge so little because we do our own shots and testing and also order all our medicines at a discount. We have several low cost spay/neuter programs that we use not only for our kitties, but we welcome anyone from the community to use through us. Last year (2007) we were responsible for 999 spay and neuters, with a little under half being our kitties awaiting adoption. This year (2008) we already had 994 at the end of October. We could write a whole blog on the importance of spay/neuter, but we have a feeling we would be preaching to the choir. Let's just say it is a major focus of our program along with rescue. Mama always says she loves fostering, but will be glad when the day comes when there are no more to foster because that will mean that everyone has a forever home and responsible owners who practice spay/neuter.

has had an adoption center in our downtown area for the past three years, but before then we made appointments for people to see the kitties in the foster homes, or we used Petco. We still use Petco as it is a mutually beneficial arrangement and because they are such a wonderful store to work with. We have a place to show our kitties on the weekends and for certain holidays, and they get lots of sales from the new families and also do not have to keep kitties (or puppies) in the store. We are able to leave kitties at a second Petco we work with, but we are responsible for their total care while they are there. Many shelters and rescues have arrangements with their local Petco's and Petsmart's and other chain pet stores like these. We do not have any knowledge of any smaller pet stores selling animals in our area, but we do not think it is right at all for any of them to be selling animals who have not had proper preventative care and routine shots. There are rescues and shelters all over the world for these stores to work with, and they should take their cue from the larger chain stores and set up such an arrangement.

Happy New Year everyone, and thank you for reading about our experience!!! Remember to encourage everyone to spay/neuter their animals and to adopt from a shelter or a rescue. Your new best friend is out there waiting for you, and you're saving a life as well!!
Isn't that amazing?! Over 350 lives have been saved by Quincy and his mum. That makes them heroes in our eyes. Thankyou Quincy, for writing such a great piece. We hope for the day when the kitten and puppy farmers see no profit, and give the business away!:)


Anonymous said...

Quincy it was very nice to meet you and read all about your Mama's Kindred Kitties of Kenosha fostering program! Your Mama is doing so many wonderful things for so many!

You are one very handsome Ambassador!

Katie and Da Katz said...

Hey Quincy! U iz a furry handsum ambassydoor... mummy whats dat?

Kindred Kitteez gotz a wondurfool purrgram. Savin baby lives iz hard werk!

yet furry rewardin!

luv in da nu year,
Katie Ann Kitty Too.

Everycat said...

Quincy and his Mum (and two sisters) are wonderful! It was really interesting to read about Kindred Kitties and totally awesome to read about Quincey's acheivements in fostering and care for kitties in need.

Inspirational stuff, thank you for sharing Quincy with us, he's a fabulous ambassador for fostering!

Whicky Wuudler

Poppy Q said...

I think that Quincy and his Mom need a blog like yours. Thank them for all the good work they do - truly his mom is an angel helping out.

Tracey and Huffle said...

Quincy and his mum ARE amazing.

Huffle Mawson

The Island Cats said...

Quincy...what you and your mom do to help homeless cats is just the best! Thank you!

Margaret Cloud said...

Quincy I am glad to meet you also and you and your mum are doing a great job, you two are truly heroes. I hope you have a very nice new year, and thank you for coming by.

DEBRA said...

Quincy thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration to all.Can I tell you how handsome you are (you remind us of Harley, Daisy's brother)!


Cory said...

We loved hearing Quincy's story. We are so grateful to the foster organization that saved me and my momma (United Paws of Tillamook Oregon) that we sent them a thank you email yesterday. Foster families rock! And they save lives.

jenianddean said...

350 lives ... that's an amazing thing, for sure. It takes a special person. Thanks Quincy for sharing your story.

AM said...

You most certainly are our HEROES! Bless you for all you are doing. We loved reading your post and it was all well said. You don't know how many people hang up when they hear it costs money to adopt a dog/cat from our rescue. They are already spayed/nuetered (if old enough), all shots, frontlined, wormed, etc. Crazy!!
P.S. We thought you were Harley, when we first saw your handsome picture!

Judith said...

hello my name is Judith and I have just set up a blog for my kitten, Karmen and would love you to be a friend.. - thank you, Judith

Daisy said...

Good reporting, Quincy! You remind me so much of my new brother Harley. Thanks for all the wonderful work you do to help so many kitties!

WhimPurr's Whim and the Whiskers said...

Hats off to Quincy's Mom!!! Whimpurr would love to be able to prive all of the care listed but she would have to have her 501(c)3 non-profit status and that takes LOTS of green papers and legal aid to get. If she had that, then she could put her fosters in our local PetsMart or Petco as well. They won't allow rescues in there unless they can get a tax break! :o( Good job and keep up the great work!!!

WhimPurr's Whim and the Whiskers said...

My word, what is "prive"? tee hee ... that was supposed to be "provide"! ;)

Goldie, Shade and Banshee said...

Hello Quincy!! You are your mom are little angels!!!

Great report!

Purrs Goldie, Shade and Banshee

Cat with a garden said...

Great report! We learned a lot about fostering and really appreciate this rewarding but at the same time demanding work. Quincy's mom sounds very professional which is an important thing. Chilli came to us with a German rescue organisation working in Italy. That organisation wasn't very professional and told us she had all shots mom asked for while she hasn't! That means expenses for our mom she thought were covered. A big cheer to Quincy and his mom!
Siena & Chilli

Anonymous said...

WOW! I could never imagine saving that many kittys and we are so blown away excited that they were able to be saved!!! Oh Quincy, thank you for telling your story, and thank you for helping so many of us! :))


Grrreta said...

This is a great post!