Many animal lovers in this economy cannot afford to expand their four-legged families. But Aube found a solution to that dilemma when she started volunteering with Fix Our Ferals in the fall of 2010 after reading one of the organization’s flyers. Founded in 1998, Fix Our Ferals is a San Francisco Bay Area non-profit that focuses on Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), helping reduce the number of homeless and feral cats through their spay/neuter program.
A firm believer that a pet is a lifelong commitment, Aube decided to foster kittens until she felt better able to take on the financial responsibility of pet guardianship. Fostering kittens has not only given her great joy but provided her with an education regarding the problem of pet overpopulation and the scarcity of good homes. When Aube started fostering, friends and family warned the tender-hearted vegetarian that she would get too attached to give up her charges. Instead, Aube located permanent homes for the first two cats she fostered. She has also orchestrated several subsequent adoptions. Aube also credits the Milo Foundation for allowing her to bring two kittens to one of their mobile adoptions.
Kittens who are rescued early enough can become good pets through intensive socialization. Knowing the kittens are well socialized when they leave her care increases the odds they will find permanent homes. To aid in this process, Aube routinely hosts “kitten parties,” inviting friends to come and interact with the felines. While sharing her flat with a constant stream of kittens (no more than two at any given time) has been great fun for Aube, she hopes for a day when TNR and spay/neuter programs negate the need for her services. Whether they live on the street or land in a shelter, the lives of homeless and feral cats are too often cut short. On the street, they are subject to illness, hunger, loneliness and abuse. In shelters, they have little or no time to find new homes.
“Pet overpopulation is a problem we’ve created and it creates suffering. Domestic animals are primarily suited to live with people so we need to limit their offspring to what’s maintainable for humans.” Through her volunteerism, Aube proves that there are many ways to enjoy and care for animals without being a full-time guardian to one pet. If you or someone you know loves animals but is not in a position to adopt, please consider fostering through a local shelter or a favorite rescue organization.