LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Fostering a shelter animal saves not one life, but two. When you foster cats, kittens, dogs, or puppies for the Little Rock Animal Village in your home, you create space for more pets at the shelter. Fostering is the most direct way to help an animal; you are giving it a second chance at life.
Sandy Moore, a volunteer a Little Rock Animal Village was live on 'Today's THV This Morning Saturday' with some adorable puppies she is currently foster. Click on the THVideo!
According to Moore, there is always something to do with a foster animal from cuddling and playing fetch to teaching good manners. Taking a foster into your home gives it the opportunity to learn how to be a "pet," something stray animals may have forgotten or never learned.
Fostering can be done by almost anyone, anywhere. Whether you live in a house or an apartment, in the city or out in the country, Moore says they can find a foster match for you.
Thousands of animals enter the Little Rock Animal Village each year and they come in all sizes, shapes and personalities. If you have an active lifestyle, they can find a foster dog that will run with you. Are you a couch potato? They'll find you a lap dog. Do you prefer cats? They can set you up with some kittens that are not old enough to be adopted or an older cat that needs to recuperate from surgery, an illness or accident.
Fostering can be a short-term or a long-term proposition. LRAV has several types of fostering opportunities:
- If you want a short-term foster, you might want to foster for the Rescue Waggin'. The Village has a grant from Petsmart Charities that allows us to send dogs and puppies to other states with low shelter populations. Rescue Waggin' fosters are for generally in your home for less than a week.
- If you have training skills (or a desire to learn some) you can take in a dog with a trainable behavior issue such as jumping up, mouthing or food guarding or a cat that is afraid and hides at the back of her cage. Dogs, in particular, have more confidence when they have skills such as knowing how to sit and walk on a leash. Having these skills also makes them more adoptable. You can take the animal in for as long as you can before returning it to The Village or you can promote the animal on your own, to help it find a home.
- Are you the nurturing type? The shelter can be a stressful place, so taking a foster into your home can often speed up the healing process for an animal with a mild infection or one that is recovering from an injury. They even need fosters who can bottle feed tiny orphaned newborns. The length of time you would have an animal in this situation will vary based on the needs of the animal.
Fostering costs next to nothing. All animals that are old enough are altered before leaving the Little Rock Animal Village and all adoptable animals are given routine vaccinations upon entering. The Village provides all medications and veterinary care. All you need to foster an animal is food and a quiet space away from other animals.
Fostering is an education for the whole family. Taking a shelter animal into your home provides a wonderful learning experience for children that they may not be able to receive elsewhere. Fostering teaches responsibility and empathy because you are caring for something that is very vulnerable. Children learn first-hand the satisfaction of volunteering.
Fostering can be emotional. Some people fear getting too attached to an animal and in all likelihood, you will develop a bond with the animal you have nurtured. According to Moore, this is absolutely normal, but when you return your foster to the Village, you can take pride in the knowledge that you have helped him (or her) on his way to a loving forever home. Remember: It is not about you. It is about the animal.
If you have more questions or are interested in fostering a dog, contact Sandy Moore at email@example.com. If fostering a cat is more up your alley, contact Debbie Heller at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can't foster, for whatever reason, there are always other ways you can help the animals of the Little Rock Animal Village.
(Source: Little Rock Animal Village)