Volunteer Foster Carers take care of our animals in their own home to give them the extra tlc they may need until they are ready for rehoming.

Mark

Cat Foster Carer

How long have you been volunteering for RSPCA Manchester and Salford Branch?
Four years.

What does your role involve?
My role is varied, it involves providing lots of love, hugs and cuddles to the fur babies. Taking notice of temperaments, from ones that want all the affection that you can give to others that don’t. I prefer the cats with behaviour issues that require a more hands on experience, I have spilled enough blood but it is satisfying when they have become calm and purring.

What are the highlights of the role you do?
Seeing the happiness on faces of families when they are matched with their forever furry. Seeing all the different characters of the cats shining through and how naughty some of them can be. Every feline has their own character.

What are the challenges of your role?
Hmm, some kitties think they are lions and tigers. Their personalities are a lot bigger than their bodies. Sometimes it can be a challenge to get a cat to accept that they are in a loving environment and this takes time.

It is a heartbreaker seeing them all go to new homes. Biggest one was Tex, a beautiful young cat with such a loving attitude.

What do you get out of volunteering?
I see all the happy families once they have taken their new family member. Also, I get satisfaction coming home to new faces.

Have you gained any skills and/or knowledge from your volunteering?
I have learnt a lot from the team about cat behaviour that I never knew. I am getting better at photography and getting my observations across to others.

How much time do I need to commit to the role
I commit as much time as I can. There is no set amount you can put on it, but remember the cats need you to be around to meet their needs, whatever they may be.

If someone was thinking about joining the team what would you tell them?
The team is just that, a team, and will always help in any way. I would call the team a family. If in doubt ask, it could be nothing or it could be something. Always talk to the team and mention everything, even if you think it is nothing as it could be something. You have to follow the advice, e.g. if the cats are on a diet then this has to be followed regardless of how cute they look at you.

RSPCA Manchester and Salford - Cat Fosterer -Mark
RSPCA Manchester and Salford - Rabbit Fosterer - Fiona

Fiona

Rabbit Foster Carer

How long have you been volunteering for RSPCA Manchester and Salford Branch?
Four years.

What does the role involve?
I foster rabbits from my home. I am at home everyday so I am always checking in on them and making sure they are OK. As well as feeding and cleaning them out daily, I spend a lot of time socialising them and playing with them and getting to know their personalities. As each rabbit is different by observing them and getting to know them and reporting back to the branch this helps the team find the perfect home for each one.

What are the highlights of the role you do?
Apart from getting the opportunity to look after rabbits in need of some TLC, it’s seeing them going off to their new home. I’ve met some lovely people who have adopted my foster rabbits. The branch seems very good at finding the perfect match for each rabbit and it makes it easier to say goodbye to them knowing they are going to the perfect home.

What are the challenges of your role?
It is sometimes hard to say goodbye and I am finding that easier the more fosters I do but I always worry and think about them after they have been adopted and worry about them settling in. I have also had 3 pass away which is difficult as you want them all to have a happy outcome.

What do you get out of volunteering?
I love looking after the rabbits and they always lift my mood when I see them enjoying life, some of them for the first time. Sometimes I wait months before I see the first binky or they come to me and that is such a great feeling.

Have you gained any skills and/or knowledge from your volunteering?
My rabbit knowledge has grown as well as my photographic/video skills (for the animals’ adoption profiles).

How much time do I need to commit to the role?
The minimum amount of time I spend each day is about an hour to do the essentials such as feeding and cleaning them out , but as they are in my home I always treat them as part of the family so there is no upper limit to the amount of time I spend with them. Each rabbit is different so whereas some rabbits enjoy my company others just want me to drop off the food and go and I have to respect their wishes and let them have their own space. A lot of them have had a rough time before coming to stay with me, so I have to go at their pace but that makes it more rewarding when they decide they want to spend more time with me.

If someone was thinking about joining the team what would you tell them?
Just do it . Even though I work remotely I feel part of the team. I have always felt supported as not every foster is plain sailing, but I always know help is just a phone call away. As part of the private Facebook group I get to see the animals in the centre and follow their progress and generally feel connected to the branch through the socials and fundraising events.

Interested in this position?

We welcome engagement with people from across the community and proactively embrace equality, diversity and inclusion, so if you would like to join the team please be rest assured you will be welcomed with open arms. We are open to learning how we can adapt our workplaces and include more people to support us with the vital work that we do. 

We aim to:
Treated everyone with dignity and respect
Challenge inequalities
Respond positively to different needs and circumstances so that everyone can achieve their potential