Do you have room in your heart, and home, for a furry or feathered friend?
Even just for a little while?
The Abbotsford SPCA is looking for people who are willing to take in animals for short periods of time.
“We are in desperate need of fosters,” said Sarah Ringer, manager of the community animal centre. “All kinds of fosters, for kittens, puppies, birds, rabbits. For anything and everything that needs fostering.”
Fostering is an important part of animal rescue and adoption. Ringer explained that when an animal is able to live in a foster home — whether it’s for a few days of TLC or a few months of recovery — that animal is able to relax and display their true personality.
The SPCA staff can learn from the foster parents whether an animal likes children, or is hyperactive, or likes other animals. And that, she said, can help ensure that the right forever home is eventually found. It also helps free up crucial space in the shelter.
A foster could end up with a cat and her litter of kittens, or a paired set of dogs, a bird, a bunny — basically any animal that could land in a shelter could need a foster home.
And because it’s such an important part of the process, the SPCA covers the costs of having the animal in a home. They supply all the food needed, and cover the vet bills, for example. A foster will be required to drive the animal to all of its appointments, though.
“It’s a really cool experience for a lot of people,” Ringer said. “We do as much as we can for our fosters because we couldn’t help as many animals as we could without them.”
It’s also just more pleasant for the animals themselves, she added. Abbotsford receives puppies from as far away as northern B.C., and being in a home is much better for them than a shelter. Fosters may care for sick and injured animals, shy animals, bottle feeding or pregnant animals, those in quarantine, or those needing compassionate or emergency placements when something happens to their guardians.
There is plenty more to know about becoming a foster, and there is more information and an application on the SPCA website under Ways To Help.
For those hoping to help with the problem of unwanted kittens, but can’t afford it, there is also now a low-cost feline spay/neuter program for Abbotsford residents. That program is funded by a generous grant from the Abbotsford Community Foundation’s Mary Victoria Wakefield Animal Welfare Fund.
For more information on fostering, or the low-cost spay and neuter program, call the Abbotsford SPCA office at 604-850-1584.