Emergency Help to Animals and Foster Care
All our animals, mostly cats and dogs, end up with "Pifas" either after being surrendered by their owners or as our rescued strays that include homeless, wounded and abused animals. The information on the latter usually comes from residents of urban areas who notice animals on the street, by the trash dumpsters or on apartment building premises in their neighborhoods. Generally, when taking an animal into our care we are unaware of its health, temper or any other issues.
Sometimes the animals are given as "presents" to us after being brought into our care by their wary owners that are unable or unwilling to keep them. The reasons for surrendering the pet vary from having to work extra hours and thus being unable to care for the animal, to moving, to expensive care, to animal behavior issues. Sometimes the owners state they are simply overwhelmed by the amount of care and financial/time investment that pet ownership requires.
Every year, "Pifas" accommodates around 200 animals by providing them with foster care until new owners are found. The majority of our animals end up being adopted and all the animals of proper age are neutered before being transferred to new owners. Since we put our best effort to carefully match the animals with the owners, the instances of newly adopted pets being later returned to us are very rare. The longest period so far that the animal (a cat) has remained in our care until finding the owner has been two years.
Unfortunately, as we do not own any property and have no designated shelter space, we have to limit the number of animals we can take in at a given time, especiallyconsidering the changing number of our volunteers and space availability they have. Due to these constraints, we give preference to the animals that need us the most and, depending on availability of our volunteers, those that we can provide with the most appropriate foster care at a given time. We do ask people surrendering their pets to keep them for as long as possible while simultaneously trying to clarify the reason for surrendering the animal and put our best effort in helping resolve it.
In addition to foster care, our organization also actively seeks new owners for abandoned/homeless pets. We do require that, upon adoption, new owners sign a binding contract with us on providing proper care for the adopted animal.
We try very hard to provide the best possible care to all our animals, as well as to give them love and attention that most of them lacked in their stray/homeless lives. Wounded or sick animals are also provided with professional veterinary care.
Foster care to the animals is provided by our dedicated volunteers who serve as "Pifas" foster parents. The care for the animals is provided according to the individually established guidelines, after evaluating the unique situation of each animal. Foster parents regularly monitor and evaluate the animals' health, behavior, temper and preferences, thus giving us better opportunity to match them with prospective owners and increasing the chance for the animals to experience human love and care again.
Some animals that end up in our care do have behavioral issues and need a special adaptation period that would restore their social skills and eliminate bad behavior which is often a result of distressing past experiences around humans. Our experienced volunteers and professional animal behavior specialists that kindly donate us their services, work together in assuring that the animals can successfully adapt to new surroundings and enjoy the companionship with new owners.
The specialists collaborating with "Pifas" are always ready to help anyone with pet behavior problems. To address the existing need for such counseling, we have established a phone line for dog and cat owners, with its volunteers dedicated to preventing as many as possible animal refusal cases by providing timely advice to unhappy owners plagued by animal behavior problems.
Also among our main goals is finding the best possible new owners and permanent homes for the animals in our foster care. Just like humans, most cats and dogs have their own personalities and our foster parents spend lots of time trying to figure out the character of their charges. This knowledge lets us determine what type of home would be the best for a particular animal.
Our volunteers also try to learn as much as possible about prospective owners, their lifestyle, personal circumstances, etc. To obtain necessary information we do ask people interested in adoption to familiarize themselves with our adoption rules and fill out a request form-questionnaire. Since people's lifestyle often becomes the reason for giving up the animal companions who suddenly find themselves out of place in their owners' life after circumstances change, we do believe that answering the questionnaire allows for better evaluation of individual preferences and circumstances on the case-by-case basis that determine a successful match between the owner and the animal.