Home > Case Studies > Volunteering as an Animal Carer: A Case Study

Volunteering as an Animal Carer: A Case Study

By: Lynne Conner - Updated: 20 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
Animals Carer Hospital Cats Foster Pets

Cyndy Hopkins dotes on animals and they respond to her too, sensing that they are safe with her. Cyndy loves animals so much that she volunteers as a carer for other people’s animals as well as looking after her own.

How I Got the Idea to Foster Pets

“I came across the idea when I had to go into hospital for a minor operation and needed someone to look after my cats.” Cyndy found an organisation that provided a foster parent for animals whose owners were called away at short notice, because they had to go into hospital for example. “It was a godsend, I was so grateful as none of my friends or family were in a position to look after my four cats. This way they were all well looked after in a caring and hospitable home.” Once she was back home and had recuperated Cyndy decided to investigate the possibility of becoming a ‘foster mum’ to other people’s pets herself.

“I got in touch with them and expressed an interest in fostering”. A representative from the organisation came out to chat to Cyndy about the role and its responsibilities and to inspect her home to see whether it was suitable. “I’m lucky, I have a big house with lots of space in my garden so there is plenty of room for animals to find a home with me.”Cyndy was approved as a foster carer three years ago and has since taken in dozens of nervous animals.

Only Pet Care Option Available

By giving them a home Cyndy is ensuring that they are safe and well-looked after while their owner is in hospital. In some cases the only other option would be euthanasia so she is really offering a valuable service. “Each animal is unique, they all have their own personalities” Cyndy says “that is part of the joy of this work, I never know who will be coming to stay next or what they will be like, But it is always a pleasure.” Cyndy’s own cats are all sociable and have adjusted to a constant stream of new arrivals.

Fostering Homeless Rescue Pets

In addition to taking in cats whose owners have been called away Cyndy was recently invited to undertake a different kind of fostering. She was asked if she would take in homeless cats who find it difficult to settle into the local rescue centre. These are animals that have been found living as strays on the streets and have been brought into the rescue centre with the hope of finding them a home. Sometimes they find themselves overwhelmed by the rescue centre and benefit from the one to one care and attention that someone like Cyndy can provide. “These cats are more of a challenge than the pets but all the more in need of some TLC and I’m glad that I can give it.” Recently Cyndy was given a litter of homeless kittens to take care of and she found it “Very challenging but very rewarding”.

Cyndy specialises in looking after cats but pet foster carers are needed for dogs and other animals too.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Jan
    Re: Working for Citizen's Advice
    I am a 60 yr old with many life skills. I have worked for the nhs all of my working life unfortunately due to health issues I am…
    19 November 2019
  • Kazza
    Re: Becoming a Samaritan
    Hi my name is Karen I'm a 59 year old woman I am interested in your volunteer role as a Samaritan or any role that I can help people Please…
    18 November 2019
  • Reeny
    Re: Volunteering to Help Premature Babies
    Does anyone know how I can volunteer to work with babies.
    17 November 2019
  • Kira
    Re: Volunteer as a Dog Walker
    Hey I’m 14 years old and starting my bronze DofE award in January 2020. I have put down dog walking as my volunteer work so I would…
    15 November 2019
  • Ljenk
    Re: Working with the Homeless
    I am based in wakefield, my daughter who is 9 and i are wanting to help any lpcal homless shelters or soup kitchens any advice would…
    14 November 2019
  • Nads
    Re: Volunteering for a Telephone Helpline
    I want to give back to the community and there is no better way then this. I would love to help with supporting anyone…
    13 November 2019
  • Kru
    Re: Volunteering With Meals on Wheels
    I would like to volunteer for the Meals on Wheels service within the Swindon area. I would discuss the number of days I…
    11 November 2019
  • Sultana
    Re: Working with Children or Adults with Special Needs
    Hi, my name is sayda... I'm interesting for work with special needs children because I need experience.
    8 November 2019
  • Atlantis
    Re: Volunteer With Your Local Fire Service
    Is they any cadets to do with firefighting for 27 year olds or volunteering on hull
    4 November 2019
  • Joe
    Re: Working With Animals
    I am currently in year 10, starting my Duke of Edinburgh Silver award and would like to know if you have any kitten socialisation volunteer…
    3 November 2019