You are hereStudents foster dogs and cats
Students foster dogs and cats
Nearly 9,000 homeless animals travel through the Humane Society of Boulder Valley every year. Cats and dogs await adoption into what humane societies call “forever homes.” Until those “forever families” welcome a new furry friend into their lives, however, these animals need extensive attention and care.
The shelter needs volunteers to temporarily care for some of these animals. Litters of puppies too young for shelter life and older dogs that need more one-on-one attention are candidates for fostering. Foster providers care for these animals until they are ready for shelter life or adoption.
Local CU students often make great foster providers because they can help the shelter out while getting their “puppy or kitten fix,” says Bridgette Chesne, Director of Shelter Services for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.
Fostering creates space in shelters and relieves humane societies of some of the burden that goes into saving animals, but the volunteer foster “parents” also benefit.
CU student Kelly Marsh bonded with her foster dog and chose to adopt her. She says that she and Sam “work well” together, and that bringing Sam into her life made her happier all around. Marsh had a demanding school schedule, but her care and commitment made it easy to create time for Sam.
HSBV says there is interest from CU students in the fostering program, but emphasizes how important it is that students are prepared, “we just encourage those students that are interested to make sure landlords do approve of the program prior to getting involved,” says Chesne.
The foster care can end abruptly if students are not suited for the job or if they do not have the permission to have animals on their rented property.
Marsh had to come up with the money to pay for apartment damage that her dog caused, but that did not end her commitment to Sam. She advises interested students to make sure they have the financial resources to take in an animal, as food and cleaning can be pricey.
Marsh says that her connection to Sam began the moment she saw her picture online, but that her love for the nine-year-old Boxer only grew. When she became attached she felt she had no choice but to make Sam a permanent part of her family.
Chesne believes “the best foster families get attached.” She says the reason is that “they really care for those animals as if they were their own.”
Beyond being prepared for the financial and time commitments, students are advised to be ready for attachment. Marsh is just one example of fostering attachment ending in adoption. Fortunately for Sam, Marsh is committed for life.
However, this is not always the case. Some individuals sign up for fostering or adoption and ultimately find that they cannot take on the responsibility. This leaves the animals back in shelters, ultimately searching for new homes and requiring even more shelter resources.
When fostering is successful, it creates shelter space for other animals in needs, and prepares the animal for adoption.