Animal shelters across the country are offering foster programs during the holidays in partnership with online pet adoption service Petfinder.com.
The foster program has been promoted on television with help from CBS, which aired the film “A Dog Named Christmas” to encourage families to foster pets from shelters during the holidays. The idea of fostering pets during the holidays took hold in Pensacola, Florida when a nurse at an animal clinic posted a sign for fostering and got an overwhelming response.
Fostering can benefit shelters, pet fosters and the pets. The shelters would have time to make their general cleaning, improvements in their shelters or to simply have time off before they will again be tied to caring for pets when the pets are returned.
Fostering can also enable fosters to check whether they have the ability to finally adopt pets or they have finally found the pet they like. According to Betsy Saul, co-founder of Petfinder.com, the main advantage of a foster program for fosters is that they can experiment with any kind of pet, whether older pet, pregnant pet, sick pet or a particular breed of animal.
Among the hundreds of animal shelters participating in the foster program is the Just Animals shelter in Seneca, Illinois, which is headed by Brenda Leake. The shelter, which is carrying out its first foster program during the holidays, has already readied at least 20 dogs. Leake said the fee for fostering is $25 and the adoption fee ranges from $195 to $250.
Leake said that there are people who cannot have pets for a long time so the foster program enables them to have pets for a while. For people who not quite sure about adopting pets, the foster program will help them make the decision.
Leake added that many of the pets in her shelter were from families who were forced out of foreclosed houses. She described the heartbreaking task of getting or accepting great pets from families with children who are forced to part with their pets.
Another Illinois animal shelter, PAWS to the Rescue, carries out its foster program throughout the year. It specializes in dogs and helps control animals in the county of La Salle.
According to Saul of Petfinder.com, the program titled “Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays” will help 2,080 animal shelters and rescues throughout the country. It will provide newspaper ads, radio advertising and other kinds of support.