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Pet tips
May 19, 2014, 05:00 AM By Scott Delucchi

Foster care and foster homes are common terms when used to describe children, but how about pets? Our shelter and most that I know of are almost always recruiting foster volunteers willing to give weeks to a few months of their time. To understand what they do and why they are needed, start with this: most shelters are busy places. They can be noisy, crowded and overwhelming for animals. Even the very best of shelters — we like to think our Center for Compassion in Burlingame is the cat’s meow — can still be stressful places for animals. The kinds of animals who benefit from spending time in a foster volunteer’s home fall into four main categories. In some cases, we have animals who are under the weather or recovering from injuries. A volunteer can provide a quiet, stress-free home. In other cases, animals exhibit a particular behavior preventing them from being adopted. Take a young, exuberant dog who just wants to love and jump up on everyone he meets. Or, the dog who pulls like mad when out on walks. A few weeks of focused training in a home setting with a skilled volunteer make a world of difference. We have other animals — dogs and cats — who don’t have a particular medical condition or behavioral issue, but we can tell they are simply stressed and having a difficult time coping in our shelter environment. Lastly, there are kittens who are eating on their own, yet still a little too young to be adopted. They spend a few weeks in a foster volunteer’s home, then return to the shelter where they are quickly adopted. Foster volunteers willing to open their home and hearts and give their time to help one special needs case are essential for most shelters. The benefit of seeing that animal turn around find a forever home makes many of them take on additional cases. 

Scott oversees PHS/SPCA’s Adoption, Behavior and Training, Education, Outreach, Field Services, Cruelty Investigation, Volunteer and Media/PR program areas and staff from the new Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion.

 

 

Tags: animals, foster, their, shelters, cases, weeks,


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