April 26, 2016

Kenny Ganiswarna has been an incredible support to our adoption events.  She has fostered over 15 animals for us during the past two years.  While in her care, these pets have been socialized, loved, and learned how to become part of a home.  Fosters like Kenny have become an invaluable asset to finding these cats and dogs their forever homes!                                                                                                                    

Q. What is your favorite part about volunteering/ fostering?                                  

A. My favorite part about fostering is meeting different pets with different personalities and how they can grow so much in even the few days. I once had a foster pet who was so nervous and unable to socialize with anyone who stepped into my apartment. After some patience and time, he was able greet a new guest wagging his tail. It made me so proud. 

Q. Why did you start working with Best Friends?                                                                                    

A. I knew about Best Friends through a TEDxReno talk by Francis Battista and was truly inspired by this organization's commitment to saving animals. I did not know that the organization was branching out in New York until I saw an ad from Best Friends looking for foster parents. I had thought about fostering for a while and since this is the only organization with a mission I was familiar with and agreed with, I decided to give it a try.

Q. Do you have any pets of your own at home?

A. Yes, but not in New York. I grew up with many pets at home back in Indonesia. Back then our backyard were like a sanctuary in its own right--we took in a few strays and surrenders from family friends along with dogs of our own there. At some point we even had a litter of kittens and an iguana.

Q. What do you do for fun outside of volunteering?

A. I like to stay home to read and write, but in the weekends I do go on solitary walks to nearby parks by the East River or Chelsea Pier (well, I guess not in solitary anymore ever since I started fostering).

Q. Do you have a favorite foster pet?

A. I love all my fosters equally, but of course there is one that will stay close to my heart: Dolly, my first ever foster pet. I remember how nervous I was when I started, worrying if I would her down, but Dolly, with her levelheaded and sweet personality, helped build my confidence. I remember crying for three days when she got adopted, but at the same time through this experience this was where I learned how to truly be happy for someone I love. 

Q. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

A. If I could live anywhere in the world, I would stay in New York. I really love this city and everything about it: the really cute dogs and the socks they wear in wet seasons, the busy streets, the diversity of cultures and how everyday can be different whenever you decide to stop and take a look. 

Q. Outside of cats and dogs, what is your favorite animal and why?

A. Otters... Until now I cry whenever I see two otters sleeping. Did you know they hold hands so they don't drift apart? Google it, look at those paws and tell me that's not adorable.

Q. What is your favorite holiday?

A. Thanksgiving... I have been trying to convince my family to try and make this a thing back home. It's a day where families and friends gather, appreciate what we have, eat A LOT, and see a random turkey get pardoned on TV. What's there not to love about Thanksgiving?

Q. What is one piece of advice you have for other fosters?

A. Patience is key, not just towards your foster pet, but also to yourself. From my experience, fostering is about giving love and being content about simply doing so. It's not always easy, and sometimes you can get a foster that is so fundamentally different from you in personality, but as long as you stay patient and calm and believe in what you are doing, all those mismatches will not matter anymore because before you know it, you could already be in love.