Meet a Foster Family

When Terri and her son RoRo moved from the west coast to the east coast, a lot changed. They traded palm trees for pine trees and powdered sand beaches for Maine’s rocky coastline. Despite the many differences had, there was one part of pre-New England life that Terri wished she had back for her son’s sake.

Before becoming a mom, her household was home to cats and birds. Over time, things changed, and eventually, pets were no longer part of the picture. As a single mom, she didn’t feel like it made sense to commit to owning pets again. Since she’d owned them before, she was well accustomed to the responsibilities that came with responsible pet ownership. However, she still knew she wanted her son around animals.

So, when Terri learned about PAWS Pals Camps, a humane education camp offered to kids age 8-12 years old, she jumped at the opportunity. It was the perfect way for her son to learn about and spend time with animals without personal commitment. What she hadn’t anticipated was how much her son would grow to love the animals at the shelter. It was clear that he needed more than a week-long camp.

Not too long after, Terri learned PAWS had a foster program. "It was the perfect compromise," she shared during an interview with PAWS. "So, I guess you could say I got into fostering because of a little boy who needed to be around cats and a mother who had been around cats for 20 years and wasn't ready to commit."

Since beginning their fostering journey, Terri and RoRo have fostered four pregnant cats and 17 kittens. "We decided on pregnant moms because we wanted to go through the whole birth experience," she said. "We're currently fostering a gorgeous blue-eyed cat named Duchess and her four kittens. It can be quite a lot of work but it's balanced out by how much fun it is."

As for the work, Terri admits that fostering is not for the faint of heart. She recalled some difficult litters, one in particular that she became very worried about. "The kittens were falling and flopping more than what seemed normal," she said. "I brought them to PAWS and the shelter vet was able to confirm they had cerebellar hypoplasia."