Petfinder.com is putting dogs in foster homes for the holidays. It's the third year in a row of their "Foster A Lonely Pet For The Holidays" program aimed at increasing awareness of rescue and assisting rescues during the holidays.
Betsy Banks Saul, the founder of Petfinder.com, explains the importance this way: "Animal shelters across north America have to euthanize adoptable pets simply because they are overcrowded. However, by fostering, people can give pets a place to stay while they wait for their forever home."
By easing the burden on overcrowded shelters, dogs that otherwise may be put down are given more time to find their perfect family. Besides saving lives, fostering provides other benefits as well. It helps...
• ... dogs socialize and get used to living in a home with human rules, making them more ready to go into a permanent home.
• ... the dogs relax in a way that many cannot in crowded, noisy shelters. This allows them to put their best paw forward when they meet potential adopters.
• ... get the word out about fostering and adoption as the foster family cares for the dog and tells friends and family what they're doing. Think about how many people see that dog on daily walks; now think how powerful it would be if even half of those people knew that dog was being fostered while it waited for adoption.
The Foster A Lonely Pet program aims to get as many adoptable pets as possible into homes from Christmas Eve through New Year's Eve. That gives overworked shelter workers and rescue volunteers a little break to recharge their batteries as someone else helps love and care for a homeless dog.
Various rescue groups around the country are participating in the program. If you're interested in opening your home to a homeless dog this holiday season, look for a participating group near you at the Foster A Lonely Pet site
. The site also has a series of articles on fostering, including answers to frequently asked questions and tips on introducing a foster dog to your kids and pets. If you're considering fostering a dog, the resources there are a great pace to start.
Petfinder's goal of getting dogs in foster homes for the hoildays is a worthy one. If you have time and space to share with a homeless dog, please consider taking one in for the holidays. You could be giving them the chance they need to find a forever home.
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