Fostering homeless pets saves lives. Learn how you can become a vital foster volunteer.
The SPCA of Northern Nevada recently rescued a dog named Baby. Baby is about three years old and she may just be the cutest, best behaved dog you’ll ever meet. However, Baby is like many of the 1.6 million shelter dogs who end up on a euthanasia list in shelters. This country still faces a homeless pet overpopulation crisis where some animal control agencies and shelters who do not have the same resources or adoption audience as the SPCA of Northern Nevada are forced to euthanize homeless pets. Luckily that’s where we came in – the SPCA is a no-kill animal rescue organization dedicated to partnering with under-served shelters and rescues organizations in order to reduce their euthanasia rates and give adoptable companion animals, like Baby, the second chances they deserve.
Baby was one of the dogs we rescued from that euthanasia list from a rural shelter we often partner with and upon intake, it became clear that Baby was about to have babies of her own. She was very pregnant and we knew she needed extra love and care outside of the Adoption Center. We made some calls and found one of our wonderful foster families who took Baby into their home with open arms (and hearts) so that she could give birth to her litter.
And have babies she did! Baby gave birth to 9 beautiful boxer/bulldog mix pups. These puppies were born into a safe, loving, caring home with their mama where they get to spend the first crucial weeks of development growing and learning. That’s crucial. Foster homes allow babies, whether puppies or kittens, the needed social and survival skills that they will rely upon their entire lives.
Right now, the SPCA is in desperate need of more foster families. We are about to come into “kitten season” in which we get litters upon litters of kittens who need loving homes away from the adoption center to grow big enough to get fixed and then find loving homes of their own. Fostering not only directly saves the lives of the kittens and puppies who are in the foster home, but it allows the SPCA of Northern Nevada to have extra space for larger, older pets, to come in, get fixed, and get adopted as quickly as possible in the Adoption Center.
Fostering starts with having the desire to save lives. The most important thing is to have an open heart and some extra space in your home. The second step is becoming a registered volunteer with the SPCA. You can sign up here. Once registered, you must either go through a cat training, or a dog training, depending on what type of animal you are interested in fostering. (If you’re already a volunteer with us but would like to sign up to foster, just contact Teresa!) Then you’re all set! Our Programs Coordinator will contact you when we get pets who are in need of a foster home to see if you are available and interested in hosting.
Most foster stays range from 2 weeks up to 8 weeks, if you get the pets close to their birth. Sometimes it’s a single kitten, or sometimes we ask to take multiples – it always depends on who we rescue. Most foster families work full time, but all of them have very kind hearts. The SPCA of Northern Nevada also provides all the supplies that you’ll need to care for them from food, to beds, to toys, and sometimes medicine. (If you can’t foster but want to contribute, please make a life-saving gift, which helps to cover the costs of the program.)
Also, the SPCA of Northern Nevada wants to thank Sierra Belle for partnering with us on the photo shoot for the images featured in this post. The goal of the shoot is to increase awareness about rescue pets and to encourage folks to consider becoming a foster family for homeless kittens and puppies. Please enjoy these additional, adorable photos from the collaboration. (All clothing featured is available at Sierra Belle in Reno!)