Caring for the unloved
Animals have been a part of my life since I can remember. I grew up with the usual cats and dogs and, when I was old enough, I was allowed hamsters. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to own my own sanctuary, but I still haven’t managed it… yet.
Since moving out of home I’ve lived (and loved) rats, hamsters, chinchillas, dogs, cats and rabbits. But I wanted to give something back. I’ve donated to the RSPCA and PDSA for many years, but a local charity came to my rescue when I wanted to adopt another chinchilla for my lonely boy, Archie.
WADARS (Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service) were the only charity who had a female chinchilla. On meeting the fosterer caring for her, I thought why can’t I do this? So, I enquired.
I’ve now been fostering small furries for about two years and I just love it! I’ve cared for chinchillas, hamsters, gerbils, rats and kittens so far. I have to confess to being heartbroken when the kittens went to their forever homes, so I talked my husband into keeping one, whom we called Precious.
Precious loves her new life with the other two cats I have, and she enjoys watching my chinchillas and hamster, although she’s not too keen on the rabbits. You’d imagine that life would be hectic caring for so many animals, but it’s serene; it’s what I’ve longed for.
I do have one ‘problem’ animal: my dog, Oaki. She’s a little Shih Tzu and, although she is my world, she can be tough to look after. She has separation anxiety, so she can never be left alone. If I need to go out, I have to ask my mum to look after her. The only time I get to myself is when she’s at the groomer’s. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be without her, but this issue is definitely not something I gave much thought to when we got her.
So, is it better to rescue than buy? In my opinion, yes; there are so many animals that need good homes – being stuck in rescue centres can’t be nice. The animals just don’t get the attention they need as rescue centres are overwhelmed. Right now, there are thousands of cats patiently waiting for a loving lap to curl up on, not to mention dogs. And if you can’t commit to long-term care, why not foster? All expenses are paid by the charity, but you get to care for an animal in need.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll introduce my animals individually, including those in my care. For now, I’ll leave you with a lovely quote:
'No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich.' - Louis Sabin
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