The merriest time of year for people can be an especially heartbreaking time for pets.
According to the Cambrian Animal Hospital, “many pets given as holiday gifts end up in the shelter system and many of them never find a new home.”
This holiday season, if you’re thinking of adopting a new furry companion, consider fostering as your first option.
Fostering animals allows you to face all of the realities of being a pet owner while knowing that your temporary companion will eventually be sent off to a loving home. Most animals in the foster system are placed between two weeks to three months of foster care.
Fostering is great for elderly folk who don’t have a family to pass pets on to, students who may be moving in a few years, or anyone who is unsure if they can handle owning a pet. The system allows the pets to learn and grow in a home environment while they wait for their forever home. It’s also a rewarding and enriching experience for those who love animals but cannot commit full-time.
Before taking the plunge and adopting before you’re ready, consider fostering from these associations instead.
Emerald City Pet Rescue saves dogs, cats, and small animals with known and unknown medical needs. The rescue exists to provide aid to abused, neglected, and homeless animals from high-volume shelters around the country.
Eligibility: “Potential fosters should be 21 years of age or older and should live no more than 45 minutes away from our facilities. Additionally, fosters must have the ability to transport animals to and from our facilities for adoption meet and greets and veterinary appointments.”
Where: 2962 First Avenue South, Suite B, Seattle
The Seattle Area Feline Rescue is a non-profit, no-kill rescue. SAFe Rescue takes in homeless cats and kittens, gives them the care they need to recover, and finds them loving homes. This is a great resource if you’re looking for a cat as your foster animal in Seattle.
Eligibility: “Have the ability to keep foster cats or kittens indoors and separate from your household pets. Be able to make a minimum commitment of two weeks for an adult cat or two-three months for kittens. Have at least 30 minutes twice a day to spend caring for and socializing foster cats or kittens.”
Where: 14717 Aurora Avenue N, Shoreline
In the early 1990s, a small group of animal-loving friends made a commitment to create a better life for homeless animals. They started MEOW, a non-profit organization with a no-holds-barred no-kill philosophy. MEOW promotes lifelong relationships between people and companion animals, providing shelter and care for each precious life until adopted into a forever home. Although titled MEOW, dogs are also available for foster and adoption.
Eligibility: “Provide safe, clean, warm, indoor housing and care for cat(s). Foster animals are to be kept indoors at all times. Provide clean bedding, toys, high-quality food and litter. Be responsible for scheduling and honoring appointments at the shelter for vaccinations and other medical treatments, including their spay or neuter appointments. While fostering for MEOW, do not foster for any other rescue group. Be able and willing to commit a minimum of 2 hours each day to play with and socializing your foster kittens.”
Where: 0600 NE 68th, Suite F, Kirkland
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Seattle Humane has been around since 1897. Beginning as a society devoted to animal issues involving stockyards and slaughterhouses, it has grown into a private nonprofit dedicated to saving and serving pets in need. At Seattle Humane, you can foster as much or as little as you like for a wide variety of animals including kittens, puppies, cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and other small critters.
Eligibility: “All you need is a little extra space and some spare time. Seattle Humane provides all the supplies and any necessary medications.”
Where: 13212 SE Eastgate Way, Bellevue
PAWS understands that understand that animals enrich our lives and work towards ensuring that all animals are respected, safe and have a voice. PAWS focuses on rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife, sheltering and adopting homeless cats and dogs, and educating people to make a better world for animals and people.
Eligibility: “Be of age. The primary caregiver of the foster animal must be at least 18 years old. However, young people can help at home and potentially receive school credit. Be in the area. Foster volunteers must be able to get to our shelter in Lynnwood, Washington on a regular basis.”
15305 44th Avenue W, Lynnwood
5200 Roosevelt Way NE Suite B, Seattle
15305 44th Avenue W, Lynnwood