Fostering is a beautiful way to help cast-off animals begin to trust again.
Few activities at Heart of America Humane Society capture so well the underlying essence of animal support as fostering. While there are many ways to help out, fostering is one volunteer function that’s very “hands on” – or very “hearts on“, as its beneficial effects can be immediate, clear, and lasting – for the animal and the volunteer.
The Heart of America foster parent program addresses two main issues:
- Some animals just do not do well in an unfamiliar, noisy shelter, particularly those who are used to lazing around inside a relatively quiet home. By fostering away from a shelter, a lot of the animal’s confusion and stress is reduced. Their true nature may be more easily revealed in a relaxed foster home environment, rather than constantly behaving defensively in response to a seemingly threatening shelter experience.
- Time is not on the side of a shelter animal. Shelters hang on to animals as long as they can, but due to space constraints, strict city regulations, low staffing or other mitigating factors, animals cannot stay in their cages forever – and the daily inflow of pets seldom slows. By fostering a dog or cat away from these limitations, home volunteers gives the animal extra time while the Heart of America Humane Society helps find an appropriate owner.
- Volunteers can help an animal immediately when they need it most, without necessarily making a lifetime commitment.
- Since the adoptee is kept in a real home, the animal can be given personalized, unconditional love and human socialization while receiving the break it needs and deserves.
- Foster parents get to see the pure joy on both the animal’s face, and that of the new owner, when they discover each other at an on-site adoption.
Foster parents temporarily board shelter animals in their own homes until they are adopted. Should a foster parent decide they simply cannot part with their foster animal, they are certainly allowed to formally adopt and become the pet’s permanent parent.
Another situation calling for some TLC:
Outside of the normal (and hectic) partner shelter activities, Heart of America Humane Society is also allowed to keep cats and kittens in the cages provided within PetSmart and Petco store space, helping them stay visible for adoption during regular store hours as well.
But sometimes these cats need a break from the store atmosphere and could really benefit from an in-home environment – even if it’s just for a few days. If you feel you can help us out by fostering one of the cats for short periods of time they would be grateful!
Visit Happy Tails to read some of our wonderful adoption success stories!
Click here to contact us if you would like more information about fostering and other volunteer opportunities.