Millions of pets end up in shelters each year, and unfortunately, many do not adjust well to their new environment. A shelter can be a scary and stressful place for animals who previously lived in a home, and living in a kennel can cause them to deteriorate quickly. Some animals also need specialized care because of age or illness which cannot be provided in a shelter. In these situations, foster care can play a major role in creating second chances for these at-risk pets. Not only does a foster home offer these animals a respite from a shelter environment, it also creates additional space in overcrowded shelters which allows them to help even more pets in need.
Vicky’s Pet Connection (VPC), a local rescue group and BISSELL Pet Foundation grant recipient, has a foster home program for at-risk dogs who find themselves at the shelter. Through a group of committed volunteers and foster families, they are able to save pets like “Sadie,” a senior Visla. Sadie not only had a difficult time adjusting being in a kennel environment, she also had severe medical issues. Sadly, most shelters don’t have the resources to tend to the needs of senior and ill pets, which is why they turn to groups like VPC for help. BPF funds allowed VPC to provide Sadie with the appropriate medical treatment she needed. We are happy to report that after receiving some TLC from her foster family, Sadie is now living out her golden years with her adoptive family.
Foster care doesn’t just benefit senior pets like Sadie, but also the countless numbers of puppies and kittens that are abandoned before they are weaned and need special care. BPF also awarded grant funding to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) in Colorado to support their foster care efforts. Their program acts as a safety net for animals that cannot be cared for within the shelter because of medical or behavior rehabilitation needs and especially, age. In 2011 alone, 400 underage kittens, who would have otherwise been euthanized due to lack of space and resources, were saved because of their foster program.
BPF will continue to support foster based groups in an effort to change the outlook for homeless pets across our country. If you would like to join this effort, please consider fostering for your local shelter or rescue. There are literally millions of animals out there who are waiting for their second chance.