Learn How to Foster a Cat, Dog, Puppy or Kitten
for Heartland Animal Shelter
One of the most important programs at Heartland Animal Shelter is the Fostering Program. Animals go to foster homes for various reasons - they may be too young to live in the shelter, they may need medical attention, they may need a TLC because of the conditions they were rescued from. Learn how you can take part in this critical program.
Topic: Learn how to Foster for Heartland Animal Shelter
When: First Saturday of every month at 5:15pm - 6:45pm
Where: At Heartland Animal Shelter
How: Sign up by writing to Jenny at email@example.com
Host: Barb Balla
You will be required to sign up for the Volunteer Orientation (required to be an official volunteer for Heartland) Offered the last Saturday of every month at 4:15pm. Host is Jenny Nogle.
Fostering can become addictive! Read the following first-hand account of one of Heartland's "Fostering Junkies":
"FOSTERING.... to do or not to do?! In the 4 years that I have spent fostering I've been asked a lot of questions.... "How do you handle that many fosters at once?" ( I do litters of puppies...) " How much time does it take?" and most of all... " How do you let them go?" Those questions are important to explore when you consider fostering, but they are definitely NOT reasons to decide fostering isn't for you..... and there isn't one answer for all the questions.
I handle litters of puppies because I decided a long time ago that I have a crazy need to nurture and I thrive on chaos! If you need a quieter lifestyle, then just try one pup/dog, or a couple of kittens, or a cat. If you need to schedule in a foster break or family vacation, you can easily let the shelter know and that can be accommodated. The time it takes depends on the pet(s) you choose to foster. An older dog or cat will take much less time and energy than a brood of young ones, and the time that ANY of those animals spends in your home, instead of the shelter, helps to better ready them for life as the beloved family pet. The stress of a shelter setting can bring on a host of reasons that might delay adoption. When the pet is in your home, they learn to look for the door to go out, to know the litter box is the laundry room, and how to curl up with you at night and know they are loved, even when the life they knew before has changed in ways they never fathomed, or maybe it's the answer to a prayer that they have found you.
Finally, "how do you let them go?". Tough question. Again it's up to you, up to your perspective. If you adopt an animal once every 5 years, in ten years you've saved 2 animals. If you foster 6 animals in a year, in those same 5 years, you've saved 30 animals. I do litters of puppies... in 4 years, I've had over 200 pups come through my house, out of the kill shelters and into the arms of loving families who can't imagine life without them. I sort of look at it like sending my kids to college. It hurts to leave them there, but you want more than anything for them to go it on their own, to be successful and live a good life. It's just what you have to do to accomplish that goal. Tough, but not insurmountable.
And so, in conclusion, I know that fostering is one of the most rewarding things I do. There's nothing like the feeling of reaching 50,100, 200 and counting, lovable pets that have found families because you were willing to open your home. As with most good deeds, what you get back is so much more than what you put in. I really hope you'll consider it for your home, as well."