It is not a cliché, you really do save two lives when you foster (or adopt): the animal who makes it safely out of the shelter system and the animal who is able to fill the space created as they leave.
Rescue organizations, which are largely volunteer networks of foster homes (some may have additional adoption space), are critical links in the chain enabling our regional animal control organizations to move ever further in a humane, 'no kill' direction.
Rescues always have a need for foster homes but we seem to be in a particularly high need all over the Chicago region at this time.
If you have ever considered fostering, I cannot it stress enough:
NOW would be a great time to take that step.
Cats, dogs, young, old, super chill or special need, and everything in between, finding an animal in need who will fit your home circumstances will not be hard to do. Only able to foster for a defined period of time? Ask about that, too. Sometimes existing fosters need coverage themselves for brief periods or animal shelters may need short term fosters (say, for an animal recovering from a medical procedure) until the animal can be placed on their adoption floor.
Let's have a look at just a few of the animals who are hoping you will join up with the rescue community and help them get one step closer to home.
BENNY: Sweet and shy
DuPage Animal Care and Control has achieved an impressive three year run of zero cats euthanized for lack of shelter space and looks to do so for a fourth year but they've been in a nail-biter, recently. Between an unusually long kitten season (yes, they have kittens even now), and slower adoptions the last two months, their cat capacity has been stretched to the limit. As an open admission shelter (they must take all animals brought to them), a critical shortage of space is always a serious issue. To help take the space pressure off, they have been looking for short term fosters to house adoptable cats until space opens up on the adoption floor.
Benny, pictured above, is an example of a great foster candidate. He was abandoned on a neighbor's porch by owners who didn't want him any longer. As you can appreciate, this 6 year old boy is finding the adoption room a little intimidating right now and tends to hide under his blankie as a result. That means adopters may not notice him, especially when more outgoing cats might be meowing and purring for attention. In a foster home, Benny would get a chance to come out of his shell and we'd know more about his personality so that finding a good adoptive home match for him will be that much easier. While he's temporarily getting some TLC in a foster home, another kitty could take his adoption floor spot, freeing up space for new admissions.
LUCY: Lovely little chirper
I had the opportunity to meet this lovely orange gal recently and can tell you she is super sweet. She is 8 years old and has the cutest little chirp. She's been in the shelter for a while (I met her the first week of November) and would really appreciate a break from the shelter. A foster could give her some respite, while her cage could be freed up for a newbie.
Here is the info you need to become a Foster Care Volunteer for DCACC.
ROCKY: A big, goofy dreamboat
This guy, currently at Kendall County AC, Rocky is approx. 15 months old, dog friendly especially with females or male dogs a bit smaller than him (he's beefy, about 70#). To see a super sweet video of him playing with another pup, check out the video under this FB post.
The Northwest Rescue Network Team is always looking for rescue for dogs in imminent danger of being euthanized. (They primarily pull from a shelter that serves merely as a holding facility for strays, which means they may be euthanized after the brief mandatory hold period is up.). The American bulldog mix is within 24 hours of meeting such a fate. He has a $420 in sponsorship funds to the rescue that pulls him. You can see more about him on their page.
Rescue organizations receive notices of dogs like this guy on a continual basis, so having foster homes available in their ranks helps them save dogs like him who have absolutely no other option to leave the shelter system alive. To read more about transfer teams, go here.
Chicago Animal Care and Control is at max capacity and has an urgent need for fosters. If you have no dog of your own and can take a dog who needs temporary isolation due to flu exposure you are gold to them right now but they need fosters of all types so please contact them if you can help.
Snoopy, pictured above, is one of the dogs currently needing a foster home through a licensed rescue in order to leave the system. Here is his story from their Dog Transfer Team page:
"Snoopy's owner lost his job and is in a really rough spot. He can no longer care for Snoopy and this was hard for the both of them. Snoopy came into the shelter through CRISP. The Chicagoland Rescue Intervention & Support Program team mentioned he was great on the animobile, very calm, gentle with everyone, and handled a stressful environment well. When he was being brought inside, he sat by his handlers side so patiently. I did notice his legs trembling - he is probably so scared. Snoopy used to live with 3 children and was non-reactive to a small barky dog and hissing cats. Snoopy was very loved and we don't want his loving soul to break in a scary environment."
Last but not least, this is Penelope. She is at DuPage Animal Care and Control. This 3 y.o. shepherd mix was an owner surrender who cited allergies as the reason. She is very sweet and would be placed on the adoption floor without problem if she didn't find the whole place to be so darned overwhelming. A foster home is the most benevolent option for dogs like Penelope. Can you foster her? For any DCACC inquiries, contact Foster Coordinator, Dina Schubert at DCACC. (630) 407-2800.
Would love to foster, but don't know who to foster with? If you are out in the Far West Suburbs, let me put Animal Heartline Humane on your radar screen. They are a wonderful rescue looking to increase their number of foster homes. In fact, their founder, Jen Monaco, also works at Kendall County AC and is one of the folks looking for a foster placement for Rocky who you saw above.
To read more about fostering, see this article.
Thinking of adopting? Here is why you should consider adopting an animal in foster care.
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