Thursday, April 12, 2012

The beauty and bliss of fostering

See Cinderella's bio below
 How often do you get to say, "I saved a life today?" When you volunteer with the Yavapai Humane Society (or your local shelter) that assertion can be a daily affirmation. That is especially true when you volunteer as a foster caregiver. Every animal fostered back to health or to an adoptable status is a life saved. Our ability to care for all the animals we rescue depends on reliable foster volunteers willing and able to help. The more foster volunteers we have, the more lives we save.

Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) foster volunteers are caring people who do everything from bottle-feeding orphaned babies around the clock to socializing little ones to ensure they are able to interact with both humans and animals. Our foster volunteers provide care, safety and love.

YHS provides the training as well as start-up supplies. Help from our staff is only a phone call away, and YHS will gives foster parents a 24-hour emergency number to call in case questions or problems arise.

Foster care volunteers provide temporary care for kittens, puppies, dogs and cats. Some animals may only need a home for several days or weeks, while others may need several months of care. By offering your home to an animal in need, you save a life.

Fostering is more flexible than other volunteer jobs that require you to show up for a specific shift for a committed length of time. The YHS foster program is fun and rewarding once you've learned how to take care of your temporary companion animals.

YHS's foster program is designed to help any animal in need of foster care, including:

• Orphaned neonate kittens and puppies
• Underage, self-feeding kittens and puppies (4-8 weeks old)
• Mother cat or dog with nursing kittens or puppies
• Animals recovering from injury or illness (may need medication)
• Shy or fearful animals that need socialization
• Healthy senior animals that need a break from the shelter environment
• Hospice animals that need loving homes near the end of their lives.

The animals YHS rescues deserve the best possible chance at finding a loving, permanent home. A foster parent has one of the most important jobs at YHS. They allow the animals to receive the care and attention they deserve as they wait for adoption. Foster parents not only save the lives of the animals in their care, they save the lives of other animals in the shelter waiting to find a loving home. If those aren't enough reasons to become a foster parent, consider these:

• Foster animals are temporary companions offering their love freely.
• You'll help socialize an animal so they become more adoptable as better companions.
• You can put that spare bedroom to good use.
• You'll delight at the smiles on the faces of the family that adopts your foster animal and possibly make new friends in the bargain.
• Fostering helps you explore many different breeds of dogs and cats to help you decide which traits you'd like in your next companion animal.
• If, for some reason, you can't keep a full-time companion animal, fostering for short time periods is an ideal solution.
• You'll know that you're making a huge difference in the lives of your fosters; and you'll be helping other animals, too.

If you have the time and some space in your home for a needy animal, call 445-2666, ext. 18, or email Fostering is a labor of love that will create memories that last long after your foster animals have been placed into permanent, loving homes.

The cat in the picture above is named Cinderella, she is a cross-eyed beauty. She is a 10-year-old Himalayan mix with extraordinary markings. She is a very friendly lap cat looking for just the right lap - yours!

Ed Boks is the executive director of the Yavapai Humane Society. He can be reached at or by calling 445-2666, ext. 21.