The Dogly team caught up with Jessica – mom to Maggie who was adopted from Humane Society Silicon Valley and co-foster parent to more than 80 kittens. See Maggie in action in her #AdoptAHeroDog video series and follow our chat with Jessica below.
Dogly: From all the Lovabulls in the world, how did you choose Maggie to adopt?
Jessica: We got Maggie when I was in 8th grade. At this point, I had fostered around 20 kittens and 3 squirrels. I was also suffering from depression, like many teenagers. I was feeling very alone and one weekend in January I had an epiphany that I needed a dog. I looked at the Humane Society Silicon Valley’s website for puppies on Saturday night and on Sunday afternoon a litter of 10 puppies were brought in. I took it as a sign. We met Maggie on Wednesday, signed papers Thursday, and by Friday she was home with us. Getting Maggie was the greatest gift I have ever received.
Dogly: Can you give us a little background into who you are and how you and Maggie are conquering the kitten world one foster at a time?
Jessica: I got the idea to foster kittens right after we had rehabilitated and released two baby squirrels. The kittens were always my responsibility: they slept in my room with me, I fed them, socialized the feral ones, cleaned their litter box. Every time one of our kittens was sick or “special” I learned everything about their affliction. It is important that you try and rescue as many kittens as possible, but what I really strive for is raising excellent kittens; socialized, friendly, and a member of the family. I think that cats can experience some of the same stigmas like Lovabulls. Many people think that cats are aloof, grouchy, and always plotting to kill you ;). Maggie and I eliminate that stigma by raising wonderful kittens. I plan to foster for the rest of my life, and I want Maggie to help me with that for as long as she can.
Dogly: What is it about Maggie that makes her a great foster mom?
Jessica: Maggie has fantastic intuition, and she’s become a huge part of the socialization process, which is incredibly important to getting kittens adopted. Maggie won’t even look at the kittens when they are too young because she doesn’t want to hurt them. Maggie is the babysitter of the household and will break up the kittens or my cats when they play too rough. She teaches them to be used to dogs, especially big, loud, and clumsy ones. Her skills have helped many kittens get adopted because they have these extra “perks” that adopters are looking for.
Dogly: What is your biggest frustration about being a Lovabull mom? Has anything happened recently to you or have you seen in the news recently about Lovabulls that has really frustrated you?
Jessica: I remember a time when I was walking Maggie through my neighborhood when she was still a tiny puppy. Some of the people in our dog community shunned us when they learned she was a pit mix. The conversations always went something like this: “Oh what a cute puppy! Did you just get her?” “Yep.” “She’s got a big head, she kinda looks like a pit.” “Oh, yeah, her momma was a pit/lab mix and her daddy was an Australian cattle dog.” “Oh, you gotta be careful with that one. They’ll turn on you in a second.” Who actually says that to a teenager? Recently a dog in the neighborhood was improperly walked by the new dog sitter and it got off leash and scared a lady and her shitzus. A mass angry email was sent out by this lady who proposed a ban on pit bulls in the neighborhood and the dog wasn’t even a bully breed! Thankfully, it was settled pretty quickly.
Dogly: How are you changing the conversation around Lovabulls with what you are doing with Maggie?
Jessica: Those with a negative perception towards Lovabulls tend to be pretty shocked when they learn how delicate Maggie is with the kittens. I think she’s a pretty good stepping stone to changing their viewpoint. A lot of prejudice is really fear, so with Maggie they can watch a Lovabull being safe and good without feeling threatened or scared. I think her interactions with the kittens shows how she is inherently kind. She truly loves and wants to be with these kittens.
Dogly: What’s the one lesson you wish every one could learn about Lovabulls from your experience with adopting Maggie?
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