Sunday, February 3, 2008

SPCA Foster Parenting Ups and Downs

It was just a matter of time before it happened, and Saturday was the day. My two foster puppies, Bindi and Moe, had been with us since Wednesday. In the four days they were here, Bindi continually acted less animated than Moe. She was smaller, so I thought maybe she was just a bit weaker and it would take a little longer for her to come around.

Saturday morning I woke up shortly before 6 a.m. to feed them and Bindi wouldn't eat. That's never a good sign in a three-week-old puppy. She wasn't interested in anything but finding a towel on the floor and going to sleep. I was worried, because she'd had diarrea for a couple of days. I had chalked that up to having worms, which I treated her for on Friday. I pinched her skin and when it didn't snap back into place, I knew she was dehydrated. Not good.
Immediately I feared the worst- parvo. I raised a parvo puppy when I was a teenager and I knew what a miracle it was that he survived.

I took Bindi to the Lakeland SPCA Saturday morning after calling and sharing my concerns. Her parvo test came back positive. I asked if she would be put on IV fluids and treated, and then came the worst news- the SPCA doesn't have the resources to treat parvo because the treatment can cost as much as $1,500 and requires round the clock care for the puppy.

My heart sank.

Then, as if the situation needed to get any worse, I was instructed to bring Moe in, because he likely would test positive also. Did I mention that Bindi and Moe were part of a litter of seven puppies? All of them must be tested and the odds of them not having parvo are not in their favor.

I'm sharing this story because although my SPCA foster parenting experiences have been good up to this point, it's important to understand that if you foster enough animals, you're bound to have sadness come your way eventually. It's life. Not all puppies and kittens are strong enough to survive. And sometimes, even though there are treatment options available, they aren't financially feasible for a non-profit organization to offer.

So, being a foster parent requires some thick skin. With that said, I still highly recommend it to pet lovers. It's such an amazing feeling to give an animal a good shot at a forever home. And even though Bindi and Moe didn't make it, I know that they were loved and well cared for while I had them.

If you live in Lakeland and are interested in learning more about the foster parenting program, fill out this form. If you don't live here, please call your local Humane Society, SPCA or other animal rescue organization and ask how you can help. They need your money, but they also could use your time and talents.

This is my favorite pic of Bindi, when she fell asleep in the yard:

This is a pic of Mike holding Moe:


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear this. I know how it is to loose a parvo puppy, and mine had his shots! Atleast they were well cared for & loved their last days!!

Anonymous said...

I just started fostering two weeks ago and we lost a kitten as well. Our little kitten was severely anemic. I held her in my arms all the way from our house in Lake Wales to the SPCA. We were told that there wasn't much they could do and she would be put down. I think about her often.