Have you ever visited your local shelter and looked at all those big sad eyes, and wondered how you could possibly help these amazing creatures? There are lots of ways to help shelter animals in need of extra care and attention. Care taking, fundraising, writing grants, and dog walking are just a few you can do, but have you ever considered being a foster? In this past year we’ve experienced some amazing foster stories which have helped Intermountain Humane Society provide loving care for animals that may not have thrived in the shelter life otherwise.
Obi Wan was a cattle dog mix that came to the shelter in December of 2016. We knew the moment he arrived he was going to need some special care. He refused to walk along side us and had to be carried from his bed in the transporter’s truck into the shelter. In his kennel he crawled on his belly to the back of the cage and curled up just as tight as his little body would go. The next few days were disheartening as he remained completely shut down and filled with fear. We immediately started making phone calls to our approved fosters, sometimes this process can take time. Finding the right foster for a dog’s specific need is just as important as finding the perfect adoptive home too! Soon we found a good environment and Obi Wan was sent to his foster family. In the home environment Obi began to flourish into a confident young dog. His foster family discovered he knew how to walk on the leash just fine, and he knew how to sit and would offer his paw for treats too. He was still shy and it took a lot of gentle coaxing and tons of praise to encourage him out of his shell but as he did everyone fell in love with his kind spirit and playful personality. After a few weeks of learning how to be comfortable and confident Obi Wan was discovered on our website by a wonderful lady from the Lone Tree area. She and her son came up on a weekend and it was love at first sight. These days Obi Wan is called Henri and is being spoiled and doted on his forever home, all thanks to the help and care of his foster family.
BeeBee was a senior cat brought in from one of our partner shelters. She was completely blind and very emotionally shut down. She didn’t want to move around much in her cage, not even delicious wet food could entice the frail little girl out of her bed. She was quickly placed with one of our newer fosters who we knew had a quiet home and would let her develop her skills. With some time BeeBee began to explore her new world and even made friends with her foster family’s dog. BeeBee also has found her perfect happy ending having been adopted by one of our local vets who heard her story and after offering to do the senior dental work she needed fell in love with her.
One of our greatest needs each year is for fosters who are willing to take pregnant cats and foster them until the kittens are old enough to be spayed and neutered, along with mom of course. We have found our foster families to be some of the greatest at helping us find wonderful homes for all the kittens. They also socialize the kittens and get them adjusted to living in a real home. Kitten season is approaching fast as the weather warms up and we are always looking for reliable people near the shelter so that mom and babies can have regular checkups and we can ensure they all have the best shot at a happy, healthy future.
Here at Intermountain Humane Society our foster families are a huge part of the amazing team that allows us to save hundreds of lives every year. It is not a task for everyone and takes a lot of dedication and a special kind of love to help an animal towards his or her future forever home. If you think you can open your home and your heart to this important job, please visit our website www.imhs.org today and submit an application to become one of our foster families!