If your New Year’s resolution is to volunteer and help animals, then pet charity Blue Cross might have the purrfect opportunity for you.

The charity’s rehoming centre in Wherstead, Suffolk, is in urgent need of volunteer foster carers to help them care for sick, injured and homeless cats, dogs and small animals.

Many pets who come into the care of the charity have been found abandoned, while others have been signed over to Blue Cross for rehoming by owners who are unable to keep their pet for a variety of reasons including relationship breakdowns, job loss, illness or death of an owner or family member.

Blue Cross needs volunteer foster carers who can welcome pets into their home who may need close supervision, be recovering from operations, are too young to go straight into the charity’s rehoming centres or are simply nervous and need time in a home to build up their confidence.

The charity is looking for foster carers to help them look after cats, dogs and small animals including rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters.

Potential foster carers will need to:

  • Live within a 45 minute travel time of the Blue Cross rehoming centre on Bourne Hill
  • Be a minimum age of 18 years old
  • Have their own car and be able to transport cats to and from the centre or to vet appointments
  • Be able to offer a quiet, reasonable size spare room
  • Be at home for most of the day to monitor our foster pets regularly
  • Be willing to learn and follow Blue Cross processes and procedures
  • Be confident with video technology such as Teams or Zoom to communicate with the centre when needed
  • Experience of looking after pregnant mum cats and nursing kittens is also a bonus! 

Pets will need feeding, cleaning, socialising, grooming and some may require medication. All equipment and food will be provided by Blue Cross, along with virtual online training.

Jenna Silk (pictured above) has fostered cats and dogs for Blue Cross since March 2019. She said: “Fostering has made our house feel like home again during a tough year, getting to know each character is such a joy and a privilege. Saying goodbye isn’t so sad at all when it’s followed by updates of them thriving in their new home. While we aren’t in a position to commit to our own pet, we can help so many more along their journey in the meantime.”

Jill Armstrong has fostered cats for Blue Cross for six years following the death of her own cat. She says: “It’s lovely to see a nervous cat become more confident, to give a cat that gets stressed in the cattery a quiet place to stay and as to looking after kittens – well, someone’s got to do it! All the cats are different- some super confident, some very playful, some vocal, some softy lap cats – it’s always interesting getting to know their different personalities and odd quirks.“

Cat fosterer Adeleve Allaton said: “Knowing that you have helped an animal while it finds its forever home is so rewarding.”

A very content foster cat enjoys a cuddle with carer, Adeleve Allaton

Jennie Paige, operational supervisor at Blue Cross Suffolk, said: “We rely on our amazing foster carers to provide temporary loving homes for the animals in our care, usually whilst they are recovering from illness, injury or are just in need of some TLC and socialisation. To know you have helped an animal and to see them blossom and ultimately head off to a loving new home is very rewarding.”

During lockdown, home checks and training will be carried out remotely before people are recruited to foster for Blue Cross.

For more information contact Blue Cross Suffolk on 0300 7771480.