Beat Expat Boredom: Foster a Stray


Beat Expat Boredom: Foster a Stray

Years ago when my wife (Sandra) started her Cat re-homing project here in Spain ( we were amazed at how many people were willing to foster a stray cat or dog until it could be re-homed.

In hindsight this wasn’t too much of a surprise. Many expats split their time between countries, meaning they can’t have a pet themselves. But the expats we encountered loved having a cat or dog around the place while they were in Spain, and they had the means to pay for all the food, litter and treats the animals needed.

Given the amount of elderly expats living in Spain full time we had huge success with them fostering the older cats and dogs. Cute as they are, a couple of kittens are a handful at the best of times, but for an elderly expat they can be too much. A 10 year old lap cat, on the other hand, who just wants some warmth, food, security and nice warm lap of an evening: well that’s a purrfect match!

Fast forward to today, and the ongoing financial crisis afflicting Spain, and other Eurozone nations, has resulted in more stray and abandoned cats and dogs than ever before. The perreras (kennels) and protectoras are full, but many of these animals could be saved and re-homed if only more foster owners would come forward.

And the irony is that there must be literally thousands of expats who could help foster. If the media is to be believed, then Spain is a country full of expats sat at home, bored, skint –  just festering until such time as the economy picks up and they can sell up and head back to the UK.

Sure, people won’t want to adopt a pet if they plan to go back to the UK, but fostering isn’t forever and it would mean that they could spend their remaining time here in Spain doing something extremely useful and highly rewarding.

So, if you’re an expat who suffers from bouts of boredom but has a love for animals, Foster a stray cat or dog: you won’t regret it!

Chris Marshall
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Chris has lived and worked in the UK, USA and Spain before settling down in Almerimar, Spain in 2003, where he spends his time time running Almerimar Life, writing on a freelance basis for a number of papers and clients blogs, broadcasting regularly on a number of radio stations and along Sands running ALStrays - a cat re-homing and transport project he set up with his wife, which also transports dogs to the UK and throughout Europe