The Escambia County Animal Shelter is always struggling with issues of overcrowding at the shelter and how to handle animals that have special needs. Fostering is a great way to help the shelter with these issues. All fosters must complete the volunteer process and then work with the shelter foster coordinator to get matched up with a foster friend. We have different types of fosters depending on the animal’s situation.
Bottle Feeding Fosters: During the spring and fall months especially, the shelter takes in a lot of puppies and kittens that are too young to eat on their own. We need individuals that are willing to feed these as required for them to thrive and maintain them until they are old enough for adoption.
Medical Fosters: Occasionally, the shelter receives dogs or cats that may need medical care before they can be made available for adoption. Fosters who can provide care for animals during treatment and recovery give these animals an opportunity to be adopted that they wouldn’t have had before.
Behavior Fosters: Sometimes the shelter gets animals that need some help with behavioral issues to help prepare them for adoption. We also occasionally have animals that have been at the shelter for an extended period of time and are showing signs of kennel stress. Helping these animals with socialization issues or behavioral problems not only gives these animals an opportunity for adoption, but it also creates space at the shelter for other animals.
Transport Fosters: The shelter has partnerships with other rescue organizations that will pull animals from the shelter and place them for adoption with their groups. Some of these organizations require that the animals they receive be kept in a short term foster situation before they can go on a transport. They do this to ensure that the dog has no medical or behavioral issues that might be overlooked in a shelter setting.
Legal Hold Fosters: Occasionally, animals are confiscated by Animal Control that may need to be held for extended periods of time. These fosters require special approval by animal control in addition to the normal requirements. These animals may be considered evidence and would have special handling requirements.
Participating in the Escambia County Animal Shelter program can be rewarding for both the foster and the animals. The temporary home that you provide will make a difference not only to the animal that you foster, but another animal that can use that space at the shelter.