Monday, March 15, 2021

Foster Families Make Rescue a Reality

When I tell friends, family and colleagues about SVPP and all of the pets we rescue, I’m frequently asked one question: “Can we go see them?” I smile and respond, “Absolutely...on our website!”
Cozy in her forever home, Emma is a
healthy 12 pounds today. She was 3 pounds
when SVPP rescued her in December.

The common assumption is that our rescued pets live in cages somewhere, like they do in municipal shelters. When people learn that our pets go straight into foster homes, I see a visible look of relief – even awe.

The truth is that SVPP’s foster families are the heart of the organization.  These dedicated volunteers are impacting life and the rescue landscape on so many levels! For pets, they eliminate the trauma, stress and loneliness of living in cages. These dogs and cats are given the support to rest, get any needed medical or behavioral care, and recover from some of life’s previous and painful harsh realities. They receive love, nutrition, play, and everything else they need to thrive.
Because these pets usually spend a few weeks to a few months in foster care, they have time to find the right “happily ever after.” Fosters parents can get to know the pet and understand its needs. Does it do well with other pets or kids? Is it high energy or does it prefer naps? Does the dog or cat respond well to toys or treats? Is he/she shy or gregarious? This experience, information and insight helps us and potential adopters make sure that every match is a love match.
Major and his new foster-to-adopt dad, Michael,
are both thrilled with their love connection!
Shelter to foster is the best possible rescue model for homeless pets. It is an updated approach that provides the best opportunity for a successful adoption and well-deserved quality of life. The challenge is scaling the number of people and homes available, especially during peak periods like kitten season, which will be underway soon. We are constantly recruiting new potential foster candidates to meet the growing need.
In the past year, we have experienced some remarkable gains in the number of SVPP foster families caring for cats and dogs, adoptions and pets we have been able to rescue. As COVID restrictions lift and people go back to work and school, our goal is to maintain this momentum and continue getting homeless pets – especially those with special needs – out of shelters, into foster homes and ultimately adopted by loving, forever families.

Interested in fostering? Complete an application here!

Karen Zamel is a long-time SVPP volunteer and a member of the communications team.