Fostering: Pawsome for Pets and Kids

By Taylor Mundy

12-year-old Tylar Gray has already helped save 8 lives. How, might you ask? Through rescuing strays and fostering newborns!

Tylar’s passion for pets started when she was six. She fell in love with animals and has always been busy riding and working in the barn with horses.

Last December, Tylar and her family had a lifechanging experience.

They found a stray kitty that showed up to their house just before Christmas. Tylar took it upon herself to create a makeshift shelter from the weather complete with blankets, food, and water. She even included a stuffie for company for the cat!

Tylar’s mom, Meladee, posted on social media in hopes of reuniting the cat with a family. Sadly, there was no response. There was a big storm coming so they immediately took the cat inside where it would be safe. They brought the homeless cat to visit the vet where it was treated for fleas, ticks, worms, and a general health check.

With the family constantly on the road pursuing Tylar’s Equestrian competitions in Canada and the USA, they knew it would be difficult to have a full-time pet. Wanting the best for the cat, they reached out to the Yarmouth SPCA to see if we could find a loving family for the rescued kitty.

It was on that visit that we discussed fostering.

When you foster an animal, the SPCA provides you with all the litter, food, toys, and support. Your fostering situation is totally up to you and could be anything from bottle-feeding orphaned kittens to socializing an animal to rebuild their trust in humans. “We immediately fell in love with the idea of helping such vulnerable ones and really in a hard spot as they are not ready to be placed up for adoption,” says Meladee.

“Tylar and I discussed how this could be the perfect way for us to enjoy cats and help them find a good, healthy, loving home,” explains Meladee. “Fostering new families fit our lifestyle so we discussed the idea with my husband Rob who agreed. Tylar and I filled out the proper paperwork and anxiously awaited the phone call.”

Ring, ring! Tylar and Meladee picked up their first fosters – three baby kittens in need of care and love.

“Tylar is the main caretaker of the fosters,” says Meladee. “I mostly just oversee and make sure she has what she needs for them.” Tylar’s main duties include overseeing their safety, changing the litter, administering their medications (with supervision), providing them with food and water, and making sure they are cozy at night.

With all those important responsibilities, you can imagine how influential and rewarding this has been for Tylar and her family!

“Some of our favourite things about fostering are the snuggles we share with the kittens, the enjoyment of playtime and watching them grow and develop their personalities,” shares Tylar and Meladee. Tylar’s absolute favourite memory was when she taught the mother of their second litter of three to sit and stand on her back legs for a treat. Very impressive!

When the kitties are ready for adoption, Tylar prepares a write-up on each cat describing their personalities, habits, likes, and what kind of home she feels would benefit both the owner and pet.

“I feel involving children in fostering helps to develop empathy, responsibility, time management, emotional development, goals, and a true sense of pride to know, want and achieve knowing the help that they have made to someone else,” says Meladee. “I am very proud of the dedication she has put into fostering and helping in the community to help with her heart and time.” We couldn’t agree more!

Tylar has big dreams to continue to help animals in need. In fact, she shared that someday she would like to be a horse trainer, vet technician, or a possibly a veterinarian. We can’t wait to see what amazingness Tylar continues to bring to the animal welfare world.

Thank you for being a champion for pets in need, Tylar!




Taylor Mundy

Taylor is the Communications & Development Officer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-mama to Bonnie. She is passionate about raising awareness and funds for local animals in need.