By Tawny Kissinger | Lifesaving Programs Coordinator at Humane Pennsylvania
We love our foster care volunteers and it is because of their compassion, kindness, and patience that our Foster Care Program continues to thrive. However, we are always looking for new foster families to become involved!
Foster families provide a lifesaving second chance to animals in need and foster animals range from; puppies and kittens too young to go up for adoption, animals recovering from surgery, those who find the shelter environment difficult to adjust to, etc. and include cats, dogs, and small animals.
The summer months bring about an increased need for fostering, so we sat down with Tawny Kissinger, Lifesaving Programs Coordinator at Humane Pennsylvania, to learn more about how foster families provide valuable care to foster pets throughout our community.
HPA: For those who are not familiar with the program, what is the Foster Care Program?
TK: The Foster Care Program facilities animal care as they transition from the shelter to stay in a person’s home. This length of stay varies depending on the reason for fostering. Animals are placed in foster care for a variety of reasons, which include…
- An animal has an extreme medical condition that prevents us from placing them up for adoption at that specific time.
- They are too small to receive spay or neuter surgery.
- An animal needs socialization.
- They need time to decompress, outside of the shelter environment.
HPA: Why is this a significant program for our organization?
TK: Without the Foster Care Program the shelter would become over crowded. This would cause one of two outcomes…
- Animals would be euthanized due to overcrowding or…
- We would not be able to accept animals that are in need.
During the summer months foster care is most needed. We see tons of kittens come into our shelters that are too small to receive spay or neuter surgery. Without the care of foster families and individuals in our foster care program, a majority of these kittens would not be properly cared for.
TK: Both animals and people benefit greatly from our Foster Care Program! Foster parents see the direct impact they have on the pets in their care – as they help us save animal’s lives.
Studies show that animals that go into foster care have a higher chance of being adopted. The animals are in a less stressful environment and typically show their true colors. The Foster Care Program also benefits adopters. Adopters are provided with a greater understanding of how their new pet will adapt to living in a home setting.
HPA: What is the goal of the program?
TK: The ultimate goal of our Foster Care Program is to save animals lives and help them be happier, healthier pets.
HPA: How can people get involved with the program?
TK: Fostering is easy! If someone is interested in fostering they can start by filling out the Foster Volunteer Application. Or they can stop by either The Humane League of Lancaster County or The Humane Society of Berks County shelter locations to complete the foster volunteer application.
As an organization we are continuing to improve our Foster Care Program. I would love to see more and more animals transition into foster homes. This type of focused care greatly helps animals that are stressed or are experiencing anxiety within the shelter environment.
Right now, our foster program is concentrated on kittens that are under age, however, I would love to see more adult animals receive foster care. So far this year, we have transitioned about 240 animals in to foster care from both shelters.
This is a great success, however, we are always looking to grow our Foster Care Program and connect new foster parents with animals in need of their special kind of TLC.
To learn more about our Foster Care Program and ways you can get involved, visit the Foster Care page of our website or contact Tawny Kissinger, [email protected] or in Berks County call, 610-921-2348 ext. 218, or in Lancaster County call, 717-393-6551 ext. 240.