Cover photo credit via Unsplash, @brianna_santellan
With COVID-19 dominating headlines and social media feeds, murmurs about the unknown are rife. Many are choosing to self-isolate already, despite there being a lack of restrictions in place in Phnom Penh. If you’re worried about being lonely, or bored, perhaps you could provide an ideal home for a furry companion? Whilst many choose not to adopt a cat or dog for various reasons, for instance if Phnom Penh is only a temporary home, the option to foster could be ideal.
It’s not promoted as strongly, as animal rescue centres ultimately want to find ‘forever homes’ for the animals, but fostering an animal can seriously upgrade their well-being for as long as you can manage.
Our experience with fostering came second hand through a friend who recently arrived in the city. She instantly contacted various animal homes in the city such as Animal Mama, PPAWS, Ministry of Cat and Animal Rescue Cambodia before arranging a visit to the latter.
Animal Rescue Cambodia’s website showcases the various animals currently seeking a home, and gives short bios about their personalities and needs. At the centre, the highly trained and attentive staff are able to give various insights about what animal may fit your lifestyle and home. The animals are well cared for, but often there can be a lack of space due to the sheer volume of animals in the city requiring medical attention or loving care. On this occasion our friend was looking to foster a sassy sounding cat that had already been adopted before she got to the home, but she was then recommended ‘Sparty’.
Sparty is ARC’s funny, old man. He still has a bit of energy- mostly when he’s telling the youngsters to leave him to his napping. He’s not the sort of cat that likes to be held and cuddled*, but he’d be happy to join you on the couch for a movie or a book.
*Although the blurb said he didn’t like being held or cuddled, we found he wanted to be snuggly lying on us or cuddling into us at every opportunity!
Sparty is a ‘little trooper’, the rescue cat isn’t a fan of other animals but loves the company of humans. Living timidly in his cage, unenthused by the various cats in the centre, Sparty instantly showed affection and his calm persona when our friend was introduced to him. After a week her work had to send her on an unexpected placement to the provinces, so we offered to look after Sparty and get a feel for the foster life.
An older cat, around the age of eight, he required very little care except for company and feeding. Having presumably had a stressful time, his fur had fallen out and was only now growing back as he was back in a safe space. Whenever we came home, he’d greet us with soft meows, and follow us until we sat – so he could then lie on us. As a previous cat owner, I was equally shocked and delighted by how affectionate he was.
Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 situation, his temporary foster mother had to return to her home country and Sparty has gone back to Animal Rescue Cambodia awaiting a caring soul for him to love.
Visit www.ar-cambodia or contact the centre via +855 (012) 340 114 to discuss adoption or fostering.
Animal Rescue Cambodia #269, St 41, Boeung Tumpun.
Can you foster?
With many offices, schools and businesses operating precautionary closures at the moment, this could be an ideal time to give respite and additional care to an animal. Many of the rescue centres in Phnom Penh are operating at capacity and need kind souls to support the animals.
The animal centres ensure the animals receive medical treatment when necessary, and can also train owners how to care for the animal if they have additional needs.