Star Spotlight: Faith Palausky

Junior Faith Palausky has fostered animals twice: a litter of two puppies and four kittens. She began last winter through Wayside Waifs with the support of her parents. She says it’s a way for her to experience having a puppy again, as the youngest of her family’s two dogs is six years old.


Junior Faith Palausky holds a puppy named Annabeth at Wayside Waifs on Jan. 25. Faith has fostered animals twice. photo by Meghan Baker

by Gabby Staker and Megan Baker

Are there organizations you connect with who give you animals to foster? How does that work?

“We’re on the foster list. Every week [Wayside Waifs] sends out an email of all the animals that need fostering. A lot of the time, it’s older dogs and not puppies, and my dad is never super into that idea because they would have to be in with our dogs. For most of them, that’d be fine. I think he’s just more worried about our dogs. When there’s puppies or kittens on the email that they send out about fostering, I’m usually texting and emailing my mom right away, like ‘Mom, there’s puppies! We have to get them!’”

Do you have pets of your own?

“We have two dogs already. They’re pretty good about [interacting with the foster animals.] They get freaked out about it at first because it’s different, for sure, especially with the kittens. We’ve never had cats and it was so different for them. They just kind of stay in their own space and give the puppies and kittens their own space.”

Why do you foster?

“It’s a lot of work because they need attention all the time and people to be around them all the time, but I just love puppies. We haven’t had our own puppy for six years because my younger dog is six years old. It’s been a long time, so when my mom was like, ‘Let’s foster!’ I was like, ‘Yes!’”

Do you have any funny stories? Sad stories? Stories in general?

“They’re four kittens, which is a lot of kittens, especially since we’d never had any cats. The whole [experience of] getting used to kittens was kind of funny for everyone. For our dogs- even our adult dogs- we have a baby gate to keep them in rooms if we don’t want them getting on furniture and stuff. And we had that for the kittens, so for the first two days it kept them in, but then they could just climb over it. They were four weeks old and we were like ‘What’s happening?’ Probably for cat owners, they were like, ‘Yeah, duh,’ but we were like, ‘Woah! How do we keep you in a room? We can’t contain you!’ Puppies will chew on everything and pee on everything. The animals stay in my room because of my dad, so the puppies had to be in a little [crate], but the kittens could just roam around all day and it was fine. It was a learning curve, for sure, but it was fun.”

And how long do you generally take care of the animals?

“I think we had the puppies for four weeks and the kittens for longer because they were taking medication. I think we had them for six.”

Do you have to follow specific rules that Wayside Waifs has set?

“It’s pretty much how you want to. I didn’t go to the training, my mom went to the training. I’m pretty sure there are some rules, and at Wayside Waifs, before the puppies are two months, they can’t be outside with their paws on the ground.”

Do the animals always go to new owners or back to the shelter for a while after you foster them?

“We have them until they’re eight weeks, which is the age that they’re good to be adopted out. After they’re eight weeks, we take them back to Wayside Waifs and they adopt them out from there. I think some fosters will have friends come over and set it up so [friends] can adopt them out from there once they’re old enough, but we’ve never done that.”

Do you name them?

“They come with names from Wayside Waifs– they’re sometimes a little funky, because I think they run out of ideas. The puppies were both girls and they were named Popsicle and ‘Lil Smokey. There were four kittens, three girls and one boy and their names all started with ‘E’s. There was an Esmee, Emmy, Eden, and Edgar.”

Is it hard to give them back?

“Yes. Especially with the puppies. With the kittens, I was attached to them, but not super attached to them. But with the puppies, I’m pretty sure I cried when I gave them back. We had them for a month. They were tiny when we got them and by the time they left, they were going up the stairs super quickly and they were big.”