Giacoppo is vice president of external affairs and chief programs officer for the Washington Humane Society. A self described "foster failure," Giacoppo has provided a foster home over the years for eight cats -- and kept six of them. WHS is seeking more volunteers to provide temporary homes for its animals.
Are there other 'foster failures'?
It doesn't happen too often, but it's not uncommon. We actually don't encourage it, which is why I don't deal with fosters because of my poor track record. We really want to get the animal out and into a permanent home so we can have [that spot freed up] and we can put someone new in. It's about saving lives.
What qualities should a foster 'parent' have?
I think it's someone who has the ability to look at them as, you're not here to give them a permanent home, you're here to help them find one. I think it does require some strength and will power -- you're going to fall in love with these animals, you're going to bond with them.
You once took in an abused kitten?
We had a kitten that was thrown off a rooftop, she broke her jaw, split her palate, she was a mess ... After the hospital, we brought her back to the shelter, we spayed her, but in the shelter she refused to eat; she was depressed. So I said, "I'll just foster her ... and do the adoption out of my house." A nice family came by and said they wanted to adopt her, and I said no and shooed them away. And another one came by, and the same thing happened. So finally, the shelter manager called up and said, "You're either going to give her to the next family that comes in, or you take her yourself." So I adopted her.
- Liz Farmer