Each year Animal Care League relies on foster families that open their homes and hearts to socialize, train, and love animals that are not their own. For many of our foster volunteers there are midnight feedings or walks; hours of plaintive cries from being separated from their mothers or littermates; medical care; and "housekeeping" that would challenge the staff at a 4-Star hotel. The reasons they do it are far too many and personal to list. Yet, the end results remain the same: the animals return to the shelter happy and highly adoptable; the families in turn experience a profound sense of accomplishment and very particular heartbreak.
However, foster care is not just for puppies and kittens.
Foster care, simply explained, is bringing a shelter animal into your home for the additional care and attention it needs. ACL has been expanding its foster care program to also include adult animals and their particular needs.
While there may be some initial concern about bringing "adult" animals into private homes with resident pets, Animal Care League continues to experience success stories that lead us to this belief: never underestimate the power of a little TLC…
For our felines friends that may not always take to an abrupt change is environment, we have witnessed the benefits from come from even a few days of being nursed and comforted during a difficult time. Others have been in care for weeks and sometimes months. In a safe and loving environment, amazing things can happen.
That's why recently we put out a special request for our kitty friend Quentin. This handsome, quiet boy has passed the one-year mark of patiently waiting for a home. Sometimes patience comes at a price and we'd like to find Mr. Q. a situation where he can be loved and doted upon for a few weeks to lift his spirits.
As for our canine charges, being a more resilient species, adult dogs are much easier to place and acclimate to a family dynamic. Foster care for canines can last a few days to several months. This can be especially beneficial for dogs that find a shelter environment overwhelming.
If you have spare room in your home, as well as your heart, and would like to learn more about foster care opportunities, please call Gretchen (dogs) or Jill (cats) at 708/848-8155, or visit: www.animalcareleague.org.
And to the "lion-hearted" families that already comprise ACL's foster program, providing countless animals the chance to find forever, loving homes, we say "Thank you."