Jerry Marchand's 600th Foster

Thirteen years ago, Jerry Marchand cradled his beloved cat Little Bit as she lay dying in his arms. Grief-stricken, he made her a promise, telling her, “Because of you, other kitties will have a chance at living and finding a home.”  

This summer, after 10 years of providing foster care for Dakin cats in his home, Jerry welcomed his 600th foster pet! Piko, an orange and brown torbie, and her three kittens stayed with Jerry for nearly two months. He now holds the record for the most Dakin pets fostered.

After growing up with German Shepherds, Jerry’s love of cats emerged later in life. According to him, “Once you get to know them, you see how smart they are. They won’t show you their real self until they trust you.” Because of his experience, Jerry typically fosters felines with medical complications. He says he usually has between three and 10 fosters in his home at any given time, in addition to his eight resident cats. The fosters are given separate quarters to ensure space and a private recovery area.

When asked how he handles the goodbyes, Jerry replied, “You cry sometimes. I’ve left many tears in fur. Certain ones, I loved them so much. But when (Foster Care Coordinator) Megan Tolpa gives me the next kittens or a mom with babies, I see that life goes on.”

“It’s hard to believe how many lives Jerry has touched,” stated Megan. And it’s all in memory of Little Bit. He made her a promise and man, has he kept it!  What an amazing legacy he has given her.”

Jerry noted that reaching this special milestone makes him feel complete. “If I can give someone else the chance to have what I had with Little Bit, then that’s priceless.”  When asked if he ever thought it would lead to this milestone, he smiled and responded, “No. I liken it to when NASA sent the Rovers up to Mars with the feeling that ‘these things are going to last maybe two years,’ and they’re still up there!”

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