Foster Parent Spotlight: Robin Murphy

Robin Murphy with foster puppies Yokohama and Boston.

Though fostering is a newer volunteer experience for Robin, she is no stranger to Seattle Humane. Robin adopted her now 1-year-old cat, Minnie, from our campus and started volunteering shortly after. Her volunteer journey began in the Adoptions Support Program where she was inspired by the transformative impact foster homes have on many pets who simply do not thrive in a shelter setting. After Robin officially signed up to foster in April 2022, she hit the ground running!  

After fostering a few kittens, Robin answered the urgent plea to foster mama dog, Bailey, and her eight newborn puppies. Robin and her husband, Kevin, provided extra TLC for Bailey and her puppies around the clock, switching shifts to cover middle-of-the-night caretaking duties. We couldn’t be more grateful for Robin and Kevin’s dedication to pets like Bailey and her puppies!  

To learn more about Robin, including the surprising professional experience that she credits for preparing her for fostering kittens and puppies, check out the following interview. 

When and how did your love of animals begin?  

I was born into a family where my first “sibling” was a St. Bernard, and it just kept going from there. At the high point, I believe we had four cats, two dogs and a rabbit. The very first thing I did when I moved out of my dorm in college was get a cat. I can’t imagine a house without the sound of paws, or a couch without a companion. 

What do you enjoy most about fostering?  

When I started as an Adoptions Support Program volunteer, I saw how certain animals didn’t do well in a shelter environment and needed to have a place to exhale. I decided to foster when I saw what a difference it made in helping the animals come along. I love being able to give them that space and watch them grow and relax a little, so they can be ready for their next home.  

Robin fostering Bailey’s eight puppies.

What life experiences helped prepare you for fostering? 

I think both parenting and practicing law have helped me embrace the chaos and messiness that comes with fostering – and that sometimes you just need to take it day-by-day. 

Tell us about one of your favorite foster pets.  

My first foster cat, Honua, will always be one of my favorites. She was an undersocialized older kitten on bite quarantine. We watched her go from hiding all the time to really coming out of her shell. In fact, she went back to the shelter for a time and ended up back in foster because she didn’t do well in the shelter. Watching her ease right back to where she left was great. So was hearing that within three days, her adopter was already petting her! 

Do you have any pets of your own? Tell us about them!  

Minnie with foster kittens.

I have two elderly cocker spaniels – Kix is 14, and Betty Lou is 10.  I have a wonderful 1-year-old black cat, Minnie, who I adopted from Seattle Humane, after she was in foster herself. She has been a huge help with the under-socialized kittens. She loves them, grooms them and overall is Foster Mama Minnie. My daughter’s cat, Mouse, also lives with us, and was also adopted from Seattle Humane – the week before lockdown in 2020. 

Outside of fostering and volunteering, how do you enjoy spending your free time?  

I am a homebody. I love to read. I read pretty much any fiction but recently have been partial to horror and fantasy. I play video games, enjoying time as a gnome mage or a night elf hunter. I love to go for walks in all kinds of weather. I’m particularly looking forward to the fall – spending time with my pets, on the couch with a cup of tea, a fuzzy blanket and a good book with something pumpkin in the oven and I’m pretty much in heaven. 

Help Make a Difference 

Just like Robin, you can make a difference in the lives of pets at Seattle Humane. Become a foster parent, or check out other volunteer opportunities to help pets at our Bellevue campus and in the community.   

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