June is National Foster a Pet Month, and East Tennessee’s animal shelters are always looking for more foster volunteers!
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It’s National Foster a Pet Month and East Tennessee’s animal shelters are always looking for fosters.
They are volunteers who house dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens for as long as is needed to get them ready for adoption. At Young-Williams Animal Center, one of those volunteers is Danielle Peace.
“It’s like a little fun family thing that we do,” she said. “We actually are what they call the ‘lion tamers,’ which is the undersocialized cats, the ones that are really spicy.”
Danielle and her daughter Dahlia started fostering around 2 years ago, and have housed a lot of cats.
“I would say 20,” said Danielle.
They’ve only had two “foster failures,” which means they ended up adopting two of those fosters.
“You absolutely fall in love with every single one of them,” said Danielle.
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You fall in love with them and do your best to make sure they get adopted.
“That’s the best part is knowing that you gave them what they needed to get to who they needed to be,” said Danielle.
Chastedy Johnson, the Social Media and Outreach Manager with Young-Williams, said fosters are a huge part of the shelter’s success.
“They are the ones that when we’re completely full, we call on them, they come in and say, ‘How many you got? How many kittens can I take home with me and love on?'” she said. “It not only helps us with space, it helps the animals with socialization.”
Fostering helps all animals get used to living with people, and gives them freedom from their kennels and cages at the shelter.
“We know there’s a loving home that can come save these babies and give them a temporary home away until they can find their forever home,” said Johnson.
Young-Williams pays for all the food, supplies and any medications needed while families foster animals. All they have to do is provide the home.
“If you can clean a litter box and put food out, you can foster a pet,” said Danielle.
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If you’ve fostered before, Young-Williams has something fun for you to try.
“We are partnering with Petco Love to celebrate Foster a Pet Month, and we are challenging all of our fosters to share their ‘My Foster Breakup Story,’ which is a cute perspective from their foster saying, ‘Hey, I loved my time with you, but I found a new person. It’s not me it’s you,'” said Johnson. “But it’s a cute way for us to celebrate those fosters that have gotten adopted, and we also have a chance to win a $10,000 grant award.”
Just tag Petco Love and Young-Williams on social media, and foster another pet while you’re at it.
“Just be prepared that they’re the boss,” said Danielle.
If you’re interested in being a foster at Young-Williams, you can sign up here.