People expect things to slow down a little during the summer months. However, at the Sacramento County Animal Shelter, June, July and August, were the busiest months of the year with more than 3,300 dogs, cats, rabbits and various other animals coming to the Shelter in that short time. That is approximately 36 animals every day. And, the influx is not abating, spilling over into September with the Shelter approaching maximum capacity.
The Shelter is able to care for these animals through the help of a tireless staff and numerous volunteers. But for those that are too young for adoption, have medical or behavior issues or when room at the shelter for the animals runs out, the Shelter turns to its foster care program.
“Fostering an animal in need of care outside of the shelter is one of the most immediate ways to save a life, plus the experience is extremely rewarding,” said Volunteer Coordinator Celeste Ingrid. “Our foster care providers are truly special people who open their homes to give animals chances for life they might not otherwise have without their help.”
An orientation and foster care workshop is held every month. At the training orientation, volunteers are taught how to care for the animals and the logistics of fostering. To be a foster parent, all that is needed is a safe and appropriate space within the home, basic animal experience, and some extra time for care and love. The shelter will provide all the needed supplies, including food, bedding, toys and veterinary care. Some animals only need a foster home for a few days, while others require a longer stint. No matter the situation or lifestyle, there is a foster animal suitable for almost everyone.
“Our foster volunteers are a great help to us,” said Dave Dickinson, Director of Animal Care and Regulation. “They are an incredibly important component in our overall mission to save lives.”
Foster animals often include nursing cats with litters of kittens, or even abandoned kittens with no mother at all. Cats and kittens make up a majority of all the animals brought into the Shelter, and their overwhelming numbers make foster care essential.
Foster care is also needed for adult dogs, puppies or other animals that are too young to adopt, and sometimes animals just needing a break from shelter life. Trained foster volunteers can even be utilized for animals that need basic behavior modification or are recovering from surgery or sickness. All the animals need love and positive attention while they wait for their forever homes.
Now is the time to learn about becoming a foster. To find out more visit the Animal Care website.
Be a foster—save a life.