The Importance of Fostering and Adopting Animals

Animal shelters and sanctuaries have always needed our help. They look after the lost, sick and unwanted cats, dogs and other animals that have no-one else looking out for them. And times are particularly tough during Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. But there might be something you can do to help...


Many animal charities have had to close their shelter doors and their charity shop outlets to fall in line with Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. As a consequence their income is restricted and their ability to help unwanted animals in the future is uncertain.

It costs a lot of money to properly care for the unwanted animals of the world. The Sheffield Cats Shelter estimate that:

"On average, it costs us £375 to care for each cat or kitten from admission to adoption".

That covers food, vet bills, neutering, microchipping, vaccinations, accomodation bills and more. And once you factor in all of the animals in their care, this one small cats shelter has "annual running costs over £300,000".

Last night I watched this video on YouTube. It shows a woman having slumber parties with shelter animals to showcase their personalities.

"You turn on the news and it's scary news...the animals here still need is a good time to remind people to come out and adopt"

She reminded me that even though shelter doors are locked, there are still animals behind them just waiting to be adopted.

How can you help?

  • Many shelters have been looking for short term fosterers for their animals, so that they can focus their attention in-house on their more high-dependency animals. So if you think you can provide a happy temporary home, reach out to your local shelter and ask them if you can help.

  • Wanting something a bit more permanent? Adopt don't shop, baby! Even though officially shelter doors may be closed to the public, find your local shelter on facebook or their own website and ask them if they are still accepting adopters. If they aren't yet, become a foster carer - and then adopt that animal up when you get the chance!

  • Already got an animal but want to help? If you are able, you can donate some money. But if not, share the heck out of your local shelter's posts! Your share might be the difference between an animal finding its forever home or remaining lonely behind closed doors.


My name is Emma and I have my own cat shelter success story.

In 2014 I saw a post about a cat called Dave on social media. We went to see him and it was love at first sight.

He'd been abandoned by his old owners when they moved house: by the very people he had called family!

I've just written and illustrated my first rhyming children's picture book all about his story, called Our Dave.

I wrote it to highlight the plight of all shelter animals who battle loneliness and loss every day.

I will soon be funding the initial run of this book with a kickstarter campaign. I'd be so grateful if you would like to find out more and maybe go so far as to support this book.

The Sheffield Cat's Shelter gave me a lovely reaction to the book, saying:

This is a beautiful book with a beautiful message that utterly warmed our hearts. It tells a story that we see every day, and we hope it helps raise awareness of all the cats like Dave who need a loving home. A must-read for cat-loving families everywhere.”

Sign up to my newsletter to be kept in the loop about Our Dave, here:

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The Sheffield Cats Shelter has been caring for stray and unwanted cats and kittens for the last 120 years. Rehoming around 400 cats per year they provide a safe refuge, medical treatment - whatever the cost, and above all the love and care they deserve until they can be placed in a home. And they never put a healthy cat to sleep.

Find out how you can support them:

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