SINGAPORE - To rope in more people to care for injured, sick or homeless cats, the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) on Saturday (June 17) launched its first cat fostering training programme to train and equip volunteers.
It will be providing customised cat care kits for 50 first-time fosterers as part of its 18th birthday celebrations.
The kit includes items such as a Beginners' Guide to Fostering; access to a library of donated items such as cages, carriers and litter boxes; priority access to donated items like cat food and medication; and free vaccination for the first 100 cats.
Under the programme, those who want to foster injured, sick, or abandoned cats by taking them home and caring for them in the interim until they are adopted will be given tools and training to do so.
"CWS handles 2,400 cases yearly, referred to us by Town Councils, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, the Housing Board and members of the public," CWS executive director Laura Ann Meranda told The Straits Times on Saturday (June 17).
"Some cases we discover involve young kittens, abandoned cats, neglected or those with injuries. So far, we have heavily relied on our network of fosterers that we have worked with for many years as well as those we connect with through social media. Those with experience are often already taking on too many cats. Others may have the passion but lack the knowledge."
The programme seeks to change that. Fostering a cat costs about $100 per month for basic cat care, and can go up to $300 or more if the cats have illnesses, Ms Meranda said.
CWS currently works with more than 100 fostering volunteers and rescuers through its adoption drive and online adoption board to rehabilitate and rehome cats in need, with more than 300 cats adopted last year through such means.
"What we are trying to achieve with this programme is to unlock all the valuable knowledge that currently resides in different people in the community and to find a better way to share this knowledge so that new and potential fosterers can better receive the confidence they need to act in the interest of a cat," said CWS President Thenuga Vijakumar.
Training programmes begin in July. Those who want to sign up to be a fosterer can do so here.