Thursday, Oct. 4 was International Animal Day, and if you walked through Sproul, you probably noticed the crate of kittens at the Paws and Claws Club table.

Kittens on Sproul!

Kittens on Sproul!

The kittens are up for adoption out of the East Bay Humane Society, and as club member Yujin notes, “we have [a] fostering program in our club through them” where qualified volunteers can be short-term owners. If you love cats, definitely read on!

We might note that, since you’ve probably read of the psychological benefits of being a dog owner, you might not surprised to learn that owning a cat can have psychological benefits, too.* College life is punctuated by stress and anxiety, and studies show that cats can be effective in taking the edge off the bad mood — so why not consider adopting a pet?

On the other hand, adoption can be a big commitment. As cat owners know, moving is often quite stressful for cats, who will frequently run away in order to find their old home (and often get lost) if they have trouble adjusting to a new environment. For that reason, owning a cat might not be the best choice if you’re anticipating moving frequently in the future, which most of us students are.

* Unless you're the owner of one of these guys.

But the program’s opportunity to foster animals awaiting new homes (especially young ones) is a great way to get involved. Volunteers can give temporary care and housing to animals awaiting homes during the week, and drop them off for adoption showings on the weekends, which is a a great short-term opportunity to enjoy the company of a pet. Fostering can also provide a great way to “test drive” all of the responsibilities of a full adoption. And, it’s even relatively easy to get started.

“For fostering the cats there’s an application, and once [you] go through training … You take them for a specified amount of time … and you just give them back on the weekends for their adoption,” Yujin says. She also notes that the East Bay Humane Society does “pay for everything,” in the foster process.

If you’re not able to have a kitten or other animal in your apartment or house, there are still a lot of ways to get involved with animals in Berkeley — including, of course, joining the Paws and Claws Club.

For more information:
About the Paws and Claws Club:
“Paws and Claws of Berkeley is a new club at UC Berkeley that provides opportunities for students to help animals in need. We currently have two programs, one that provides students the opportunity to volunteer at the Berkeley Animal Shelter, and the other one provides students the opportunity to foster dogs and cats from the East Bay Humane Society.” (from the Paws and Claws group Facebook page)

Or, email [email protected]

How to get involved:
Attend the next Paws and Claws Club meeting Thursday, Oct. 11, from 8 to 9 p.m.

How to adopt a pet:
Contact the Berkeley Humane Society to learn more about how you can adopt or foster animals, or to volunteer in other ways.


Image source: Joelle Johnson under Creative Commons

a8850929 said:
Oct 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I’ve said that least 8850929 times. SKC was here…