Stray animals in need of foster parents across Missoula
Kevin Moriarty/Missoula Current
Much of Myranda Campbell’s kitchen is currently occupied by kittens. Laid out across the floor are beds, toys, litter pads and plates of food, neatly arranged with plastic dividers for 13 kittens.
Campbell recently started her own nonprofit rescue shelter called Big Sky Happy Tails, which she currently runs out of her home. She hopes to find foster parents for these kittens so she can take in more strays.
The summertime brings lots of new puppies and kittens being born, and rescue shelters across Missoula and the surrounding area are running out of room for all of them.
Campbell said her biggest need right now is for foster parents who can temporarily take animals into their home. Potential foster parents start by filling out an application that assesses what they are up for and if they are prepared to look after multiple animals at once.
Fostering any number of animals typically requires a spare room and usually lasts 1-2 months. Campbell’s organization, Big Sky Happy Tails, supplies all of the other necessities like food, litter and toys.
“Fosters are truly what makes this whole thing work. It’s all about community,” said Campbell.
Campbell has a love for animals that runs deep. She first learned to bottle feed kittens when she was in high school. At the age of 14, she cared for a whole litter of kittens on her own, bringing them to school and bottle feeding them there.
She recalls thinking, “I love this, I want to continue doing this.”
Campbell has four dogs and seven cats of her own, and on top of that, she has anywhere from 3-15 foster animals in her home at any one time.
“My friends are like, oh my gosh you have a whole zoo, but I love it. I’ve always loved animals and being able to help them out,” said Campbell. “It makes me feel whole.”
Campbell currently works part-time at Big Sky Veterinary Clinic and hopes to move her organization out of her home and into a rental space in the coming years.
Last year, Campbell found homes for over 100 cats and kittens. She said some of the things people can do to help is open up their homes for fostering, getting their own pets fixed, and consider donating to Big Sky Happy Tails to cover the cost of supplies.
Links to donate and the foster application form can be found on the organization’s Facebook page.
“This is a problem, and not just for me, but all of the local rescues can use Fosters and use help,” said Campbell.