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Spotlighting compassion: Celebrating CCAC's foster program on 615 Day

This 615 Day, the Kingston Springs Gazette and Fred & Mary's Home are partnering with Cheatham County Animal Control (CCAC) to spotlight the great work the shelter and its volunteers do through fostering animals and helping them find their forever homes.


Even if you're not in the market for a new furry friend, CCAC is always looking for volunteers to help walk dogs at the shelter, foster kittens and puppies, or even donate to their Amazon wishlist.


Keep reading to hear testimonials from some of the shelter's best foster families.


Allison Turner, her husband Bill, and their kids, Haven, Wesley, Phoebe, and Iris have been fostering for CCAC for several years now and have done it all – kittens, puppies, adult dogs and cats, including some with medical needs, pregnant moms through delivery and weaning, orphaned kittens requiring bottle feeding, and seniors awaiting placement at Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary. 


In Allison's words: 

"Our family began fostering as a way to help animals from home during the time of COVID restrictions. We quickly realized it was something we all enjoy, and have kept it up for years now. Fostering can take on many forms: keeping young vulnerable kittens and puppies out of the shelter until they’re healthy, vaccinated, socialized and ready for adoption is probably the greatest need for our local animal shelter. Our family of animal lovers enjoys having the agency to do something about the overpopulation and stray animal crisis, and to help cats and dogs become acclimated to life in a home environment and go on to make wonderful companions. We have also made fantastic friends with many folks we have met through our fostering and volunteer work at the animal shelter. We feel supported in the work we are doing, and I am pleased to be raising children who understand the value of community involvement, volunteering, and sacrifice for the good of another."


Chonta Dillingham is an employee and the welcoming face you see when coming to CCAC. She wears many hats at the shelter but also is the co-coordinator of the cat and kitten foster program along with volunteer, Paige Golden. Like Allison, Chonta too, has done it all and it is also a family affair at her house with husband, Bobby, and sons, Conner, Carter, and Walker jumping in to help out. Chonta puts in more volunteer hours than she works!


In Chonta's words:

"Why do I foster? The main reason is that I love animals and want to help them. My whole family gets involved in the love and care of our fosters. My boys learn responsibility, empathy, and what it is to sacrifice for the greater good – all while snuggling furry babies.


I love all animals but I have a special place in my heart for the feline variety. Whether it be a newborn kitten who needs to be bottle fed, an older one who is scared and needs proof that people can be good, or an injured baby who needs a little extra TLC, I love them all and want to see them have the best life possible. By fostering, I am able to help them gain confidence, get the specific care they need, and feel loved and adored while they wait for their very own FURever family. Is it hard to let them go? Yes and no. I will always remember and love them, but I know by sharing my life and home with them for a brief moment in time, they will be able to go on to live amazing lives."


Read other CCAC fosters' testimonials:

I have fostered with CCAC for short term and longer term. Any amount helps. It has always been the best experience and you have help and support every step of the way. I always hear people say, 'I could never give them back, I would fall in love with all of them.' Well, you do fall in love with them and I just see it as I’m the stepping stone for them to continue on their way to their forever homes. If you have ever thought of fostering, do it! What you get in return is priceless.


Fostering is an incredible way to give back to the community. It’s not an easy job, but it’s meaningful. You change the course of a puppy or dog's life with sharing your love and time. You save lives by fostering, not just the fosters. Fostering allows rescues to save more animals. I highly recommend any animal lovers to give this a try. In my opinion, it is hard not to fall in love with fostering. Plus you make cool friends along the way that have similar hearts. How can you beat that?


Fostering with CCAC is the best! So rewarding and they make it so easy – you get all the supplies you need, a great community to help with questions, and a sweet puppy to cuddle with! We have always cherished the joy and fulfillment fostering gives us. Take the dive and you won’t regret it!


Interested in fostering?

Most fostering needs are just two to four weeks old and CCAC will provide you with all supplies and support you need.


Cats/Kittens:

CCAC is looking for a variety of foster types – those willing to foster two (or more) healthy kittens, those willing to foster entire litters, those willing to foster a mama until they are weaned, those willing to foster a pregnant mom through delivery and weaning of her kittens, those willing to bottle feed orphan kittens, those willing to foster a single kitten or adult cat with medical needs and/or on occasion a single healthy kitten.


Dogs/Puppies:

We are looking for those willing to foster one to two puppies, those willing to foster a pregnant mom through delivery and weaning, those who foster select medical cases, those who will take a shy adult dog or one suffering kennel stress, and those who will take a senior while they wait for their spot at Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary to become available.


If you are interested in fostering, please go to the Cheatham County Animal Control Facebook page and send them a message there letting them know if you are interested in fostering cats, dogs, kittens, or puppies and include a number where they can contact you by text. They may not reach out right away but will as their needs arise. Thanks! 

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