If you have ever thought of fostering or adopting a new best friend, the time is now! Countless animals have been displaced in the Houston area, due Hurricane Harvey’s unprecedented flooding. Up to 4 feet of rain was dumped in some areas and now thousands of cats and dogs are in need of homes. There is an urgent need for foster families to take in these animals as we speak! Without fosters, these animals may be euthanized due to lack of space or funds. Fostering saves animals from euthanasia and also frees up space for more rescued animals.
Texas animals shelters and rescues are taking in displaced animals from the Houston area, including the Austin Humane Society, Animal Rescue Foundation of Texas, and Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton. Best Friends Animal Society is working with Austin Pets Alive!, Houston Pets Alive!, and Houston Petset to collect much needed supplies and donations, recruit volunteers, care for rescued animals, and to reunite animals with their families.
Shelters around the country including Wagging Dog Rescue in San Diego, PAWS Chicago, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center and Monmouth County SPCA in New Jersey, Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation in New York, and the Brandywine Valley SPCA Georgetown Campus in Delaware have taken in dogs and cats from hurricane-affected areas that are now in need of homes!
Before making the commitment to take in an animal, it is important to consider all of the different responsibilities that come with fostering.
- Do you have space in your home to accommodate a dog/cat?
- How will your pets get along with a new family member?
- Do you have time to spend with the animal to help them get used to their new life? Animals needing homes have most likely been separated from the people that they love. They may have been in life-threatening situations and are incredibly stressed. It will take time for them to adjust to a new home.
- Can you afford to buy them food, a few toys, grooming and any medical treatment that they might require? Keep in mind, some of these animals may have come from neglectful homes and/or may need considerable medical care. It is very important to communicate with the shelter about any conditions or issues the animal may have. Make sure to temporarily quarantine the foster animal to avoid spreading communicable diseases to your pets at home. Follow the instructions from the shelter’s veterinarian and staff to ensure the foster animal recovers as soon as possible.
Finally, remember that it is your job as a foster parent to transform the animal into a well-adjusted, adoptable pet. You must set aside plenty of time to network with people to find them a safe and loving home. Take the time to share the animal on social media. You may be able to reunite the dog/cat with their family!
While it may be emotional to say goodbye to the animal you spent so much time with, you can rest easy knowing that you truly saved an animal’s life by providing them with care when they needed it most and by finding them a proper home. Perhaps you’ll even end up adopting the animal yourself!
If you are interested in fostering an animal, reach out to your local shelters/rescues or the locations listed above. The availability of pets can change quickly, so call ahead and check their social media pages to stay up to date. Remember, even older animals deserve to live out their lives in a loving environment, so consider fostering a senior dog/cat.
If you are unable to foster or adopt at this time, please consider volunteering at a shelter or rescue to help out. Your time is appreciated! Donations and supplies are always needed, including; dog and cat food, food bowls, towels, sheets, blankets, kitty litter, cages of all sizes, leashes, food bowls, dog treats, and disposable cleaning items like trash bags, paper towels, sponges, cleaning wipes, and mops.
If you are able to open your home, or able to donate your time, funds, or supplies, there are plenty of animals that need you! Their lives depend on it!