Furry foster care for puppies, kittens

You cannot beat watching kittens or puppies at play. Their antics bring a smile to all but the hardest heart. As every good pet person knows, it’s best to have your pets spayed or neutered to avoid adding to the population of pets in need of homes, but, there is a way that you can enjoy puppies and kittens in your home for a few weeks without long-term obligation. Not only is it guilt free, but you will be a true hero.

It’s called foster care. Just like children, kittens and puppies do not have fully developed immune systems and they can easily pick up a virus in a shelter.

Foster parents are truly saving precious little lives by taking them in temporarily.

During the summer, it is not unusual for more than 30 kittens a day to arrive at our local animal shelters. It would be impossible to save them all without foster caregivers.

Foster care not only has health benefits for the babies, but it gives them the valuable experience of living in a home environment for their most critical stage of development. During the first eight weeks of life, they are growing extremely rapidly and their personalities take shape. They are also learning how to get along with others of their species, as well as people. Play is more than just fun; it’s a learning experience as they develop essential skills for their adulthood. As a foster parent, you are preparing them for adoption and life as a companion animal.

The most dedicated foster parents take on neonatal kitten or pups, those that need bottle feeding. Caring for a mom cat and kittens is generally easier, as mom does most of the work. Some people prefer the shorter term foster experience of older kittens or pups.

For example, 6-week-olds only need another three weeks to be ready for adoption.

You don’t have to be an expert. The shelter you work with will show you what you need to do and will provide support until the little ones are old enough for adoption.

One of our dedicated foster volunteers, Rene Barnard said it best, “What a treat to be able to save these precious lives and have so much fun at the same time.”

Want to foster kittens or puppies? Contact one of the local humane groups:

» Nevada Humane Society: 775-856-2000, ext. 320, or info@nevadahumanesociety.org

» SPCA of Northern Nevada: 775-324-7773 or info@spcanevada.org

» Pet Network, Incline Village: 775-832-4404 or info@petnetwork.org

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