ELYRIA, Ohio — Local animal shelters are in desperate need for foster families as they prepare for an influx of puppies and kittens.
The Friendship APL in Elyria currently has 60 foster families in rotation, but needs many more.
“Fosters have really made a huge impact the overall animal welfare in Northeast Ohio,” said executive director Greg Willey. “We will oftentimes go from having 75 to 80 cats and kittens at any one time, and then by May or June, we will have 300 cats and kittens in our system.”
The shelter provides everything a foster family needs — food, litter, bedding, cages, even toys.
Animals are fostered when they are too young to be adopted out, are recovering from injuries, or are nursing mothers. It helps free up space at the shelter to take in more animals, as well.
The average foster lasts roughly two weeks, but the impacts — for both the animals and the families — last a lifetime.
Take Maureen Jordan. She started fostering just over two years ago.
Since then, she’s had so many puppies and dogs come through her home that she has lost count.
Jordan said the question she gets asked most is how she is able to let the animals go once their foster time is up.
“I kind of look at it like, you say the same thing about your child — could I let my child go off to college? No, but you do because you want the best for your child and that’s the same thing that you want for the puppies,” Jordan said. “You want to see them go to a forever home.”
“You’re helping that animal for a lifetime,” said Helena Prosowski, the foster care coordinator, who said people fall in love with the program once they start.
Becoming an animal foster family takes less than an hour — you attend an orientation, fill out an application and decide if you truly want to do it. After that, expect the call for help to come in soon. You can find all the details by clicking here.
The Cleveland APL is also in desperate need for foster families, particularly those who are able to house adult dogs. For more information, click here.